A municipal budget presented Monday night forecasts an average $116 increase in the city’s portion of the tax bill.
The City Council last night introduced a $50.7-million spending plan for 2013 and will hold a public hearing and final vote at its April 8 meeting. The budget would raise $34.47 million in local property taxes, an increase of about 3 percent over 2012, and will undergo a review this month by the governing body as well as a technical review by the state.
The city administration attributed the $116 increase to three issues:
* Some $25 is the result of an $11.2-million loss in assessed value from a record number of tax appeals last year.
* About $55 is pinned on an 8-percent hike in employee health benefit costs.
* Roughly $36 of the proposed hike is “for the support of municipal operations.”
The budget also provides for about $850,000 in costs related to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
The average municipal tax bill is expected to rise to about $3,151 in 2013, up about 3.8 percent from $3,035 in 2012. The average home in Rahway is assessed at $133,000, so a home assessed at twice the average, or $266,000, likely would see a $232 increase in the municipal portion of their tax bill while a home assessed at $66,500 could expect a $58 hike. The city budget makes up about 38 percent of the overall tax bill, along with school taxes and county taxes (which are proposed to rise 4.2 percent).
The City Council also introduced a 2013 budget and assessment for the Special Improvement District (SID), which will come up for final approval at the April 8 meeting. The SID tax generates about $130,000 annually from an additional assessment of about 7 percent on almost 140 downtown commercial properties. The SID revenues were shifted to the Rahway Arts District in 2010 after years of being funneled into the Rahway Center Partnership.