RAHWAY — Interim Mayor Samson Steinman’s administration proposed a $52 million budget that would increase the municipal portion of the property tax bill by about $43 for a home at the city’s average assessed value of $135,000.
The City Council on will hold a public hearing and is expected to approve the 2014 spending plan at the governing body’s April 14 meeting.
The budget is also being submitted to the state for technical review, according to Finance Director Frank Ruggiero, who told council members most of the tax increase can be attributed to a decline in the city’s property values and increases in the cost of debt.
At its last meeting, the City Council voted to borrow about $3 million for improvements to Union County’s Rahway River Park and athletic facilities behind the high school on Madison Avenue, which were announced in Steinman’s ‘State of the City’ address last month.
The esplanade agenda emerged soon after Steinman appointed as city business administrator Cherron Roundtree, who was previously the deputy director of the Union County Parks and Recreation Department. Steinman’s ‘State of the City’ address was much different from such speeches delivered by previous mayors in that it made scant mention of redevelopment in the city and largely ignored factors such as crime and property taxes.
The city’s last annual debt statement shows that taxpayers currently owe bondholders $106,936,676 but that does not include debt incurred since last year.
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