City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing before formal approval of the 2015 municipal budget during its regular meeting on Monday night, and here are a few more details from the 44-page document.
Revenue from Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) is budgeted at $1.346 million for this year, down 8 percent from $1.425 million. The main difference is $200,000 less from the Landmark/Park Square project this year. UPDATED: Chief Financial Officer Frank Ruggiero explained in an interview after tonight’s Redevelopment Agency meeting that only $400,000 was budgeted this year but that Landmark/Park Square will made an additional payment this year to meet its final $600,000 PILOT. The project will pay full property taxes in the 2015 year.
(2015 budgeted / 2014 budgeted / 2014 realized):
- Lower Essex St./Denholtz Management (Rahway Plaza Apartments): $460,000 / $400,000 / $469,226
- Landmark – (Park Square): $400,000 / $600,000 / $408,624
- Parking Authority (River Place): $170,000 / $170,000 / $170,000
- Rosegate: $18,000 / $25,000 / $18,750
- Housing Authority: $48,000 / – / –
- Senior citizen housing: $250,000 / $230,000 / $282,326
By comparison, in the 2012 budget, there was $961,000 in PILOT payments, up 22 percent from $783,000 the previous year. The main differences from that 2012 were that Landmark paid $150,000 that year (compared to $400,000) and Denholtz paid $366,000 (versus $460,000).
The budget does not yet include PILOTs for recently completed projects or construction that is under way, or soon to be under way. (UPDATED: Ruggiero further explained that the two projects completed last year – the first two listed below – will pay some type of PILOT in 2015, based on pro-rated numbers extrapolated from their partial year operations in 2014):
- 116-unit Metro Rahway was completed last fall on the site of the former A&M Industrial Supply Co. on Campbell Street (15-year PILOT)
- 115-unit Meridia Lafayette Village currently is under construction at the corner of Main and Monroe streets (15-year PILOT).
- The 487-unit Brownstones at the site of the former Wheatena and Quinn & Boden sites on Elizabeth Avenue, gained Planning Board approval in December and could break ground on the first phase this year (30-year PILOT).
- Main & Monroe, a two-building, 194-unit project also received Planning Board approval last month, with a goal of breaking ground this year on the site of Lot B (30-year PILOT).
In the “General Revenues” portion of the budget, there are a few interesting, potentially redevelopment-related, grants from the state or county:
- NJ Wayfinding System – $75,000
- Green the Streets – $6,466
- Downtown Retail Study – $20,000
The $52.5 million budget is up almost 2 percent over last year’s $51.8 million. The amount to be raised by taxes is up 3.73 percent, about $1.3 million from $34.781 million to $36.07 million.
The average home in Rahway is assessed at $133,000. It can expect a projected $120 increase in the municipal portion of the tax bill. Last year’s budget projected an increase of $43, or about $11 per per quarter. The $120 hike for the average home would increase last year’s average municipal taxes of $3,191 to $3,311.