Assessed value down marginally in 2017

The city’s overall assessed value was largely unchanged last year, with some marginal decreases in some classes and the largest drop coming in Commercial assessments, which were down less than 2 percent.

The data come from the latest Abstract of Ratables by the Union County Board of Taxation, covering 2017:

  • Vacant (Class 1): +1.12 percent, $9,758,100
  • Residential (Class 2): -0.08 percent, $966,655,600
  • Commercial (Class 4A): -1.71 percent, $130,209,200
  • Industrial (Class 4B): -0.02 percent, $272,104,200
  • Apartment (Class 4C): -0.03 percent, $72,236,600
  • Total assessed value: -0.20 percent, $1,450,963,700

New Church St.5 homes razedThe dip in Commercial assessment is likely due to another tax appeal settlement with Merck & Co. Large or small, the number of commercial tax appeals, many for multiple years, also likely contributed to the decline. Residential assessments were down as a whole but not by very much, even though about two dozen homes were razed through the state’s Blue Acres program, which impacted the average municipal tax bill by about $15 to make up for the loss.

Apartment (4C) assessments last year were slightly off from the high in 2016, but were still up 31 percent and 47 percent, respectively, compared with five (2012) and 10 years ago (2007). Total assessed value peaked in 2008 at $1.556 billion.

Here’s a spreadsheet of several key categories within Rahway covering about the past decade-plus (2005-17). While the changes year to year will provide some insights, the numbers don’t change very drastically. The data are more likely to rise or fall incrementally so looking at a longer timeline (not unlike investment returns), examining windows of three-, five- and 10 years that might yield some interesting trends. It’s also important to consider how Rahway’s assessments fared compared with how other towns’ assessments changed.

Park Square.Irving Street

Last year, the only classes that dropped from 2015 to 2016 were Industrial and Vacant. , and the percentage changes were more significant across all those classes we examined, whether they were up or down. Last year’s spike in Apartment Class 4C was mainly the result of a five-year Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) expiring for the 159-unit Park Square complex along Irving and Main streets.

The percentage of the city’s total assessment that comprised the Apartment class crept up from 4.97 percent in 2016 to a  high of 4.98 percent in 2017, which makes sense considering the number of residential units developed over the years. By comparison, total apartment assessment in 2007 accounted for 2.94 percent of the city’s overall assessment.

Changes in these categories are more stark when comparing 2017 to 2012, with much wider swings:

  • Vacant (Class 1): -5.5 percent, $10,294,500
  • Residential (Class 2): -1.91 percent, $985,103,000
  • Commercial (Class 4A): +1.69 percent, $128,012,600
  • Industrial (Class 4B): -6.50 percent, $289,782,400
  • Apartment (Class 4C): +31.31 percent, $49,617,000
  • Total assessed value: -0.82 percent, $1,462,809,500

Going back 10 years, comparing 2007 to 2017, changes in each category are a bit more drastic:

  • Vacant (Class 1): -21.64 percent, $11,736,500
  • Residential (Class 2): +1.81 percent, $949,849,700
  • Commercial (Class 4A): +1.90 percent, $129,920,800
  • Industrial (Class 4B): -38.79 percent, $289,782,400
  • Apartment (Class 4C): +38.51 percent, $44,432,000
  • Total assessed value: -4.11 percent, $1,513,679,700

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