Chief Financial Officer Frank Ruggiero explained that an amendment is necessary if:
– There is an increase or decrease of 10 percent in a budget appropriation;
– A new appropriation is added that is equal to more than 1 percent of the budget;
– The tax levy is increased or decreased by 5 percent.
In this case, it was the first item, an increase or decrease of 10 percent in a budget appropriation. Specifically, $20,000 was reduced in the Department of Law for salaries and wages, related to the public defender and , along with changes to some six line-items in the budget, which reduced the tax levy by about $32,000, from $34.47 million to $34.44 million. The tax levy is about 2.95 percent, or $985,000, more than last year’s tax levy. In all, the budget stands at $50.77 million.
The change will mean an average tax increase of about $113, versus the originally proposed $116, for the average assessed home in Rahway ($133,000). The municipal budget comprises about 40 percent of the overall property tax bill.
The City Council also unanimously adopted a budget for the Special Improvement District (SID) in the amount of $130,000, which funds the Rahway Arts District.