The City Council last month adopted a transition year municipal budget, covering July to December 2011, as the city moves from a fiscal year (July-June) to a calendar year (January-December).
The increase in the municipal portion of the tax bill for the two quarters ending in August and November are expected to be about $18 compared with the same two quarters in the previous year, Chief Financial Officer Frank Ruggiero told council members at the Oct. 11 meeting. The upcoming February and May quarters likely will see an $18 increase from the previous year as well, he said.
The average home in Rahway, assessed at $133,000, will pay approximately $1,522 in municipal taxes for the half-year, according to Ruggiero. In the last full year budget (July 2010-June 2011), municipal taxes for the average home were about $2,416 (Remember, municipal taxes make up about a quarter of your overall property bill, with county taxes comprising about another quarter and school taxes making up about half). The transitional year budget totals $23.396 million, with a tax levy of $16.326 million. The total state Fiscal Year 2011 budget is $44.91 million, with a tax levy of $31.166 million.
Some line-items in the budget show jumps of 50 percent, Ruggiero said, as a result of some departments being more seasonal. For example, the Recreation Department has more expenses during July and August while the Department of Public Works might have more expenses during the fall relate to leaf pickup. Ruggiero said he expects the city to go for an accelerated tax sale sometime in the late spring of 2012, as the state doesn’t allow a tax sale for a transitional year.
The City Council voted 8-0-1 to adopt the budget, which included the Special Improvement District (SID) budget and SID properties. The lone abstention was by 6th Ward Councilman Samson Steinman, who said he abstained to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest since he’s executive director of the Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC) and sits on the board of the Arts District, which now receives SID funds.