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There are a total of 31 licenses in the City of Rahway. There are 4 Club Licenses, 1 Hotel/ Motel License, 21 Plenary Retail Consumption Licenses (bars or restaurants), with one being a Plenary Retail Consumption License with Broad C (It can act as both a liquor store and a bar/restaurant), and 5 Plenary Retail Distribution Licenses (Liquor Stores).
Currently, there is 1 Plenary Retail Distribution License in "Pocket" status (it isn't established/ in use at an establishment) and 7 Plenary Retail Consumption Licenses in "Pocket" status.
To view any municipal liquor licenses that may be available for purchase, please click here.
You may need to file a 12.39 relief form through POSSE for holding an inactive license, which costs $100 per term you are requesting relief.
The City of Rahway does not charge late fees. However, the State has deterrent procedures, which include additional forms to fill out and fees.
Please refer to the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Retail Licensee Handbook and the City of Rahway Municipal Code.
The State website (POSSE) is where you will renew your license yearly, put in for an extension of premise application, and more. Click here to go to their website page featuring all the permits offered.
You can also click here to login into your POSSE account.
You will need to either e-mail the State or you can call them at 609-984-2830. The representatives of the City of Rahway have limited access to POSSE, which is restricted to endorsing or rejecting the renewal of licenses and permit applications.
In order to do a Person to Person or Place to Place transfer, you can download this portfolio, which requires Acrobat X or Adobe Reader X or later. If you just need individual documents, please use the following:
Please contact your caseworker that you are currently corresponding with at the New Jersey Division of Taxation or, if you don't have a caseworker, email the ABC Clearance Unit at the Division of Taxation.
Once the licensee has submitted the application it will automatically be transmitted to the municipal clerk or ABC Board Secretary for endorsement in POSSE.
Once endorsed, it will be automatically transmitted to ABC for review and issuance. Once issued, the licensee will receive an email notification that the permit has been issued and a copy of the permit. It must be displayed at the licensed premises.
Ad Intermit permit applications must be submitted through the POSSE ABC Online Licensing System. Under no circumstances will the Division accept a paper application for an Ad Interim Permit.
If you wish to follow up on an application, please contact the ABC Secretary with the file number that you were given by the State.
Unfortunately, as of July 5th, 2022, you are unable to change your email address and the POSSE Admin cannot/will not either. You will have to create a new user account on POSSE (LINK). During the account registration process, you will be asked for an access code. You must have the access code in order to be linked to the account at the time of registration.
If you register an account without the access code, you must follow the procedure below to be linked. Please be advised that POSSE Admin does not provide access codes.
If you have already registered a new user account without the access code, you must fulfill & notarize this attached Affidavit (LINK) & submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org to be linked to the account. The email ID & the name with which that email ID is associated listed on the form MUST have an active account in the POSSE system & the name on the account must be listed in the affidavit; if the name listed does not match the name in the account to be linked, the request cannot be processed. The SUBJECT of the e‐mail must state “Affidavit of Representation”. Any e‐mails sent that do not use the correct subject may be lost within other subject matter and create a delay in the assignment.
A dumpster permit is only required if it is going to be placed in the street. If a property has a driveway or room anywhere on the property a permit will not be issued to place it on the street. Dumpster application.
Garage / Yard sale permits are issued through the Building Department. The permit fee is $5.00 and is issued in the month that the sale is being conducted. The permit is valid for any three consecutive days with the same 3 days for the following week. Signs will be provided with the permit. No more than two such sales per year shall be held.
A Building permit is required if the shed is over 200 square feet. Regardless of size a zoning permit is always required.
View our online portal.
View and search our Municipal Code Book.
Yes, a zoning permit is required from the Zoning Department. A Building permit would only be required if the fence is over 6 feet in height with Zoning approval.
The Primary Election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June. The General Election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November
Primary and General Election 6 am to 8 pm
You must register any time prior to the 20th day before any election to be eligible to vote in that and subsequent elections.
You can register by mail. An application can be obtained from the City Clerk, Board of Elections, or Union County Clerk by viewing the Application.
View vote-by-mail ballot application (PDF). The County Clerk must receive your completed application no less than seven days before the election by mail or by 3 p.m. the day before the election in person.
There are also numerous early voting sites in Union County that are open to any registered voter in Union County. One of these locations is the Rahway Recreation Center. Please visit the Union County Board of Elections early voting page for locations, dates, and hours.
Military personnel & dependent may vote by Military Absentee Ballot if:
A Party Declaration Form must be filled out. This may be obtained from either the Union County Board of Elections or the City Clerk. View to download and print out a Party Declaration form. Party Declaration forms must be received by the Union County Board of Elections no later than 50 days prior to the Primary.
Should you have any questions regarding elections or where to go to vote, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 732-827-2100.
View Youtube video What Happens When You Go to Vote in New Jersey: A Step-by-Step Guide
Official results can be found at Union County Votes.
First, know whether or not you live on a County Road (this list includes east and west):
If you do live on one of the roads above, then when it comes to the trees, the road, and the sidewalk, the County Engineering, Public Works & Facilities Department can assist you.
For all other streets, the number to report a pothole is 732-827-2061, and if you have an issue with a City tree call 732-827-2060
Lastly, if there is an issue with the public sidewalk or street, call 732-827-2176 or email Engineering@cityofrahway.com
The recommended extinguisher for home use is a “Dry Chemical” type, generally type 2A-10BC.
Store your extinguisher away from the stove, near the entrance to the kitchen. Mount the extinguisher on the bracket that is supplied with the extinguisher. In your workshop, mount the extinguisher away from power tools, near the exit.
Caution: Never put yourself or anyone else in jeopardy by trying to extinguish a fire that may be too large. Sound an alarm to other occupants, leave the building close all doors behind you and call the Fire Department (9-1-1). Go to your designated meeting place and wait for firefighters to arrive.
If you are called on to use your extinguisher to fight a fire, just think of the words, PASS:
PULL on the safety pin at the top of the extinguisher.
AIM the nozzle, horn, or hose at the base of the flame (6 to 8 feet away).
SQUEEZE or press the handle.
SWEEP from side to side at the base of the fire until it goes out.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions as listed on the unit. Never go back into a burning building!
No. Dry chemical extinguishers are usually filed with Mono-ammonium phosphate. This is a non-toxic substance, however, large amounts of this powder in the air can cause breathing difficulties. Leave the area after discharging a dry chemical fire extinguisher. Call 911 to ensure that the fire is completely extinguished.
Hardware stores and department stores in your area stock fire extinguishers. You can also refer to the “Yellow Pages” of the phone directory for servicing companies. Most extinguisher servicing companies have units for sale, which are suitable for home use.
Approximately 6 stories for aerial ladders, and 7 stories for the aerial platforms. It is dependent on how close the apparatus can get to the building, and if there is underground parking that will restrict fire apparatus due to their weight. The Rahway Fire Department has an Emergency One platform tower. At a maximum angle of 80 degrees, it has 95 feet reach. At an angle of 60 degrees, it has a reach of 84 feet.
It is dependent on the building and how the emergency power is supplied. Many newer buildings have emergency generators which will give continuous uninterrupted lighting in stairwells, hallways and other buildings will have battery-operated systems which provide lighting for a defined time period. Under the Building Code, emergency power must last long enough for occupants to safely leave the building. (one hour)
Automatic and manual fire alarm systems and each of their components are tested annually. In addition, fire drills are mandated more frequently within certain user groups.
No. Some buildings are monitored by private companies, which will notify the Fire Department when the fire alarm is activated. It is important for people to call 9-1-1 from the building and not assume that someone else has advised the Fire Department.
Fire is an equalizer. It has no respect for age, sex, or economic status in any given community. There are some basic safety rules which can greatly lessen the chance of being part of an unwanted statistic. If you wish further assistance or information, please call our Fire Prevention Bureau at 732-827-2133.
Fires in high-rise apartments are caused the same as in any other dwelling – smoking, cooking accidents, electrical and arson.
Doors or hatches from a stairwell leading to the roof of the building are not considered to be fire exits under the fire code. Exit from a building is considered to be down and to the outside. These doors are locked mostly from the standpoint of building liability and security.
If your building has a “fire safety plan” in effect, ask to have your name and address placed on the “persons requiring assistance” page. This page is checked by the Senior Fire Officer at the scene in the event of a fire in the building.
In the event of an alarm or fire in the building and you are trapped:
These doors protect the stairwell from the spread of smoke, heat and hot gases so that they can be used to safely evacuate people from the building. A door, which is wedged open, would allow the smoke to fill the stairwell as well as the upper floors of the building, putting the occupants at risk.
Yes, but a sticker is no substitute for a home fire escape plan. We encourage everyone to plan their own escape in advance and to practice it regularly. However, if you should choose to use a sticker, the best placement is any child’s room window located above the ground level.
The City of Rahway sponsors disposal days seasonably. For information, Email Mike Smalling at Solid Waste & Recycling or call (732) 827-2159.Union County also sponsors disposal days. For information call (908) 654-9889.
The rule of thumb is not closer than 2 inches. Many manufacturers of heaters have recommended distances to be observed when using their products. Always consult the manufacturers.
All propane tanks should be stored outside or in a detached shed, protection from elements and at least 5 feet from any openings to the building (basement windows, doors, vents etc.). Never store in the basement.
Take all expired propane tanks back to an outlet that refills them. Do not keep them around your home or garage and do not include them with your regular refuse pick-up.
No. Like larger cylinders, they should be stored outside or in a separate shed not within 5 feet of any opening to the building. (Basement windows, doors, vents etc.)
No. On March 2, 1992, the State of New Jersey, Department of Community Affairs, Bureau of Fire Safety, adopted regulations limiting the use of propane barbecue grills in multi-family buildings.
The specific code section reads as follows:
N.J.A.C. 5:18-3.3(h) 3: Propane cooking equipment such as barbecue grills shall not be stored or used on any porch, balcony or any other portion of a building within any room or space of a building, within five feet of any combustible exterior wall, or within five feet vertically or horizontally of an opening in any wall.
While these grills may be very convenient for the residents, they present a serious fire, explosion and life safety problem for residents and firefighters alike.
The problem is usually a weak or improper battery. Replace with a fresh battery as recommended by the manufacturer.
Smoke detector recall – 120,000 purchased units are affected
Six brands of battery-operated smoke detectors are being recalled because they may not sound in the event of a fire. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging anyone who purchased a battery-operated smoke detector on or after July 10, 1992, to check the unit immediately to see if it is involved in this recall. The brands and models affected are:
To identify an affected detector, examine the label on the back of the unit for the model and date codes listed above. The aforementioned is courtesy of NFPA Fire News – Feb./Mar. 1993, Issue 793.
3.5 million smoke detectors were recalled. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the recall of 3.5 million smoke detectors whose alarms may fail to sound in a fire. The electrically powered smoke detectors, manufactured from October 1987 to March 1990 by BRK Electronics of Aurora, Ill., were marketed under the brand names of BRK, First Alert, and Family Gard. None of the company’s battery-operated detectors are being recalled, the commission said. The commission said BRK had not received any reports of incidents or injuries associated with alarm failure. The commission warned that, because the detectors are wired into a building’s electrical system, consumers should not attempt to remove or replace a recalled detector before speaking to a BRK representative.
The Fire Department cannot recommend specific manufacturers. We do recommend that electrical smoke alarms (hard wired) and any battery-operated smoke alarms be U.L. Listed.
Smoke detectors are required on every story of the dwelling unit including the basement. They are to be installed in approved locations and hardwired, interconnected in conformance with the electrical code. NFPA Number 70 and be provided with a battery backup power source. Location of detectors should be:
Watch dead air spaces, i.e., 4-foot by 4-foot ceiling/wall corners; Sidewall mounting allowed advise 9 feet dead center from the ceiling; Kitchens and bathrooms cause nuisance alarms. Manufacturers’ specs call for a five (5) foot clearance or the use of a photoelectric unit is warranted. (If one is a photo, then all units are unless listed with U.L. as compatible).
Nuisance Alarm Control: Some smoke detectors – manufacturers provide a model with a “hush” feature, which momentarily switches to a reduced sensitivity condition. This reduction in sensitivity allows annoying and unwanted alarms to be silenced for approximately fifteen (15) minutes. It is required that a copy of the manufacturer’s specs (user’s manual) for the installation of smoke detectors be left at the construction site. Complete information on replacement maintenance and operation is explained within this manual.
Smoke detectors are required on each level of the premises and outside of each separate sleeping area as a minimum.
For complete coverage in a residential unit, smoke detectors can be installed in every room, in hallways, storage areas, and the basement.
However, we suggest that you:
The landlord is responsible.
Battery operated smoke detectors may be installed within the tenant space in most multiple dwellings provided they are maintained, tested and inspected as follows:
As a tenant, you should test the smoke detectors regularly and report any malfunctions to the owner.
Marriage ceremonies are not being performed at Rahway City Hall.
Please review your water bill for the most up-to-date information on how to pay your bill.
The Primary Election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June. The General Election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The exact day and early voting period are listed on our City calendar.
Municipal offices will be closed on the below holidays. Please note that there may be garbage & recycling collection, so please check with the Division of Solid Waste & Recycling.
You can search for jobs within the City of Rahway here.
Please call the Department of Public Works at 732-827-2060
Contact the Building department by e-mailing the building department or by phone: 732-827-2087
You may view and download agendas, minutes and adopted resolutions and ordinances by clicking here.
For residents who need a parking permit, please visit 67 Lewis St, Rahway, NJ 07065 (the parking deck downtown).
You can also visit our code book to review the City of Rahway's laws regarding permit parking and where it is enforced.
OPRA (Open Public Records Act) requests are used by the public to gain access to government records. Often requests are for information on a home someone is buying, but can also be for a variety of other reasons, with some limitations by State statute.
If looking for building permit history, and whether there are open and closed building permits, use our SDL portal to look up information.
Here is an example of the information SDL provides.
Follow these quick and simple steps:
1. Click on “use our SDL portal to look up information” link above.
2. Sign up with a user ID and password, or login if you already have an ID and password.
3. If you know the permit number, enter it in the field marked “Check a Status” and click on the green “Go” button.
4. If you do not know the permit number, click on “Full Permit Search” and search by permit number, control number, project number, owner, address, etc.
There is NO CHARGE for this service.
If you have any questions about Building Permits, please contact the Building Department at (732) 827-2087.
To request government records, you can e-mail, fax, mail, hand-deliver, or submit a request by using the form below.
Many OPRA Requests are for the same property or report. You can view an archive of recent responses.
Vital records such as birth and death certificates and marriage licenses may be obtained from the Office of Vital Statistics.
1. You may obtain a Notary Public application from the New Jersey Department of the Treasury.
2. Following approval from the State, you must contact the Union County Clerk (NOT THE CITY CLERK) to take your oath of office.
Please refer to Ordinance 24-21 and Ordinance 14-22 for information regarding which classes of Cannabis businesses are permitted in the City of Rahway.
To apply, please click here.
Please call 732-827-2003 if you wish to speak to someone about the application process or about having a Cannabis Business in Rahway.
The City of Rahway does not have a rent control ordinance.
Property deeds may be obtained from the Union County Clerk's office.
In all, the process can take 8 to 12 weeks from the time requested, depending on the factors above.
Please refer to our Noise Ordinance which notes the hours in the City of Rahway that private individuals and commercial entities are limited to regarding hosting a party, use of various kinds of maintenance or lawn equipment, as well as general activities which produce noise that is above certain decibels.
Bids are handled by our QPA (Qualified Purchasing Agent) and through the Engineering department.
QPA Contact Information: 732-827-2020
Engineering Contact Information: 732-827-2176 or Engineering@cityofrahway.com
The City of Rahway has no laws regulating Short Term Rentals such as Airbnb.
You can contact:
We will take applications for non-brick and mortar businesses starting the end of November.
Please fill out this form and drop it off at the Police Department.
Have your truck inspected by the Health Department: Health Department Inspection Form (PDF)
If using a propane tank, have the tank inspected by the Fire Department: Fire Safety Permit (PDF)
Please fill out this online form.
Have your truck inspected by the Health Department: Health Department Inspection Form (PDF)
A Food Truck is expected to sell food either by being be parked in one of the designated locations set forth by the City's Code or by moving throughout the City. A Peddler's License is for those selling wares that are not food - like balloons or other trinkets.
Please note: The limits do not apply to events. Only for food trucks that plan to operate throughout the year in the City of Rahway.
Food vehicles may only occupy private commercial properties in the I-L Light Industrial and I-H Heavy Industrial Zones with the express permission of the property owner. Hours of operation shall be limited to the same hours of operation of the private commercial property on which the food vehicle has permission to be located. In the event that a private property in the aforementioned zones is within 100 feet of a residential use or zone, food vehicles shall not be permitted between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
All food trucks located on private property shall be required to obtain a Zoning Permit from the City. All food trucks located on private property count towards the maximum permitted number of licenses. In no case shall a food vendor be located within 500 feet of a brick and mortar eating establishment or 100 ft of a residential property.
Parking on public streets is limited to the hours of:
Tues-Sat: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Sun-Mon: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. .
Food and drinks may only be sold on public streets between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The final hour should be used to clean up within 30 feet of your location prior to departure.
Food trucks with a valid annual License from the City of Rahway are not required to complete a Special Event License.
License and inspection approval expires on January 15th, or the first regular business day thereafter if the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday.
The license application for a Peddler's License can be found here.
Please note that a Peddler's License requires you to use a commercial vehicle. You CANNOT sell goods from out of your car.
If you are looking to sell from a tent or at a stationary location, then you would need a Transient Merchant/ Itinerant Vendor Licence (PDF).
Each vendor must place trash and recycle bins of adequate size within ten feet of the vendor's location. Vendors are required to remove the trash within 30 feet of their location prior to departure, and to properly dispose of trash and recyclable containers and materials. No trash or recyclables shall be disposed of in receptacles owned by the City or nonprofit corporations or associations that place trash or recycling receptacles on the street for use by the public, nor placed alongside the aforementioned receptacles.
Permitted on all streets outside of the central business district.
The vendor is required to apply for a Special Event Food Truck License, and the host of the event needs to be aware food vehicles may be located in the parking space within the right-of-way in front of the requestor’s property. In no event shall the food vehicle be permitted on the sidewalk or elsewhere within the street. Service windows shall face the sidewalk.
Property owners, residents and/or organizations giving permission to or requesting the presence of motorized food vendors shall assure that the food vehicle is parked legally and not obstructing the flow of vehicle or pedestrian traffic.
Currently, the City of Rahway takes payment by cash, check, or money order. We're currently unable to process credit or debit cards at this time.
The check or money order should be payable to "City of Rahway."
Placed in order of exchange, i.e. you submit your application to the Police department, get your vehicle inspected by the Health department, get your propane tank inspected by the Fire department, and then the Clerk's office calls you when the license is ready.
If you don't have a food truck and are operating with just a tent or stand, you would only need to obtain a health inspection, and a fire inspection if you are using a propane tank. Please be aware that you would only be able to set up a tent or stand temporarily for the duration of the event. The City does not permit you to have your tent or stand in perpetuity.
The number is 732-669-3605 and for further information, please check out our page dedicated to Senior Transporation Services.
Please note, the following parks are managed by the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, not the City of Rahway:
If interested in reserving space in any of the above parks, you can visit the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation website. You can also e-mail the Reservation Desk or call 908-527-4900.
For all others, you can contact the Rahway Recreation Center at 732-669-3600.
If you are interested in becoming a food vendor for events organized by the Recreation Department, call (732) 669-3600, and a staff member can help you.
For events organized by the Special Improvement District, please call (732) 827-2193, and a member of their staff will assist you.
For all other events within the City of Rahway, you'll need to speak to the event organizer for details.
Please fill out the Temporary Handicap Placard Application (PDF) and when you get the required signatures and information, submit it to the Police Department.
No. Research has shown that grass roots are the primary cause of thatch, not grass clippings. Thatch is composed primarily of roots, stems, rhizomes, and other plant materials. These plant materials contain large amounts of lignin (fibrous material) and decompose slowly. Grass clippings are approximately 80-85 percent water with only small amounts of lignin, and decompose rapidly.
No. If a lawn is properly mowed, watered, and fertilized, grass clippings can actually produce a healthier-looking lawn. It is important to cut the lawn frequently to produce small clippings that will decompose quickly. If a lawn is not cut frequently and clippings are left on the lawn, it will produce a “hay” like the look, which can be unsightly.
“CUT IT AND LEAVE IT”
“Cut it and leave it” is the natural way you can have a green, healthy lawn while spending less time and money…..and think about how much waste will be diverted from the waste stream! Taxpayer dollars will be saved in the process.
Most lawnmower manufacturers have developed mulching mowers, which cut grass blades into small pieces and force them into the soil. These types of mowers are effective in grass recycling and have become very popular. Make your next mower a mulching one.
To learn more:
The Rahway Department of Public Works will have the sidewalk in front of your home evaluated. If the sidewalk has been determined to have been damaged by a city tree your address will be placed on a list to be repaired.
Please note: Chapter 365 of the Code of the City of Rahway mandates that the property owner is responsible for the repair of sidewalks. However, the Department of Public Works does try to repair sidewalks that have been damaged by city trees and are raised at least 1 ½ inches. Residents are asked to be patient, as the number of requests to have sidewalks repaired is quite substantial and may take quite some time to complete. The city is not required to make these repairs.
Since Rahway is an older community, many of its sewers are combined; i.e., they handle both stormwater and sanitary waste from homes and businesses. During heavy rains, the old sewer mains cannot handle the increased flow of rainwater and sanitary waste. Property owners can help by disconnecting downspouts from sanitary lines, but sometimes, the lateral and/or sewer main become clogged with debris. The city is not permitted on private property to clear private sewer laterals. You may call the DPW to inspect the mains in front of your property and clean them if necessary. Maintenance of sewer laterals is the responsibility of property owners and not the city. If you are having a sewer emergency, you may call the DPW directly at 732-827-2060 during business hours. Outside of business hours, please call the Rahway Police Department at 732-827-2200.
It is the responsibility of the city, county, and state to clear streets for vehicles during and after snowstorms. Unfortunately, large quantities of snow in the street often end up in driveway aprons. Property owners are advised to shovel driveway aprons after plows are finished cleaning the street. If you must shovel, place the snow "downstream" of your driveway so the plow cannot push it back into your driveway apron. Property owners should also remove their vehicles before a significant snowfall if they are located along snow emergency routes in Rahway or they will be ticketed and/or towed.
Please call the DPW at 732-827-2061 to report a pothole on a city street. They are usually patched within 72 hours.
Leaf season usually begins in early November and runs through late December. DPW crews will make a minimum of two passes on every street to collect leaves during those weeks. Leaves should be placed in piles along the curb or placed in biodegradable paper leaf bags available at most hardware stores. Leaves placed in plastic bags will not be collected. Because of new statewide regulations from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, leaves and other yard waste cannot be placed in the roadway more than seven days prior to the scheduled collection dates or closer than ten feet from any storm drain inlet. Please call the city's leaf hotline at 732-827-2063 during leaf collection season to learn where DPW crews will be working that day.
Rahway is responsible over 6,600 shade trees in our city and has the honor of being named a Tree City USA for its care and promotion of healthy trees. These trees help contribute to the attractive character of Rahway and it is also estimated that each street tree adds $5,000 to the value of a home and keeps homes cooler in the summer. The city will remove a street tree only if it is dead or is in immediate danger to life and property. If you would like to have a street tree placed in front of your home, please email us and include your name, address, and phone number so we can add you to the street tree list.
The city's water utility has been municipally-owned for over 130 years. It is managed by Suez Water. You may reach Suez Water at 877-303-2435.
To report a street light out in your neighborhood, you may report the outage by clicking here or calling PSE&G at 800-436-PSEG (7734). Please have the following information available:
To find your new advisory elevation, type in your address at FEMA’s advisory elevation website.
Please refer to the Garbage/Recycling Schedule regarding the pickup of items like televisions, monitors, air conditioners, yard waste, lead collection, and more. Some items are only collected during certain times of the year and there are limitations.
If you'd like more information, please call 732-827-2159.
To find out when is the next time the County will have a mobile paper shredding day and when, please visit the County's website (LINK).
Note: Chapter 365 of the Code of the City of Rahway mandates that the property owner is responsible for the repair of sidewalks. However, the Department of Public Works does try to repair sidewalks that have been damaged by city trees and are raised at least 1 ½ inches. Residents are asked to be patient, as the number of requests to have sidewalks repaired is quite substantial and may take quite some time to complete. The city is not required to make these repairs.
Since Rahway is an older community, many of its sewers are combined; i.e., they handle both stormwater and sanitary waste from homes and businesses. During heavy rains, the old sewer mains cannot handle the increased flow of rainwater and sanitary waste. Property owners can help by disconnecting downspouts from sanitary lines, but sometimes, the lateral and/or sewer main become clogged with debris. The city is not permitted on private property to clear private sewer laterals. You may call the DPW to inspect the mains in front of your property and clean them if necessary. Maintenance of sewer laterals is the responsibility of property owners and not the city.
If you are having a sewer emergency, you may call DPW directly at (732) 827-2060 during business hours. Outside of business hours, please call the Rahway Police Department at (732) 827-2200.
It is the responsibility of the city, county, and state to clear streets for vehicles during and after snowstorms. Unfortunately, large quantities of snow in the street often end up in driveway aprons. Property owners are advised to shovel driveway aprons after plows are finished cleaning the street. If you must shovel, place the snow “downstream” of your driveway so the plow cannot push it back into your driveway apron. Property owners should also remove their vehicles before a significant snowfall if they are located along snow emergency routes in Rahway or they will be ticketed and/or towed.
Please call DPW at (732) 827-2060 to report a pothole on a city street. They are usually patched within 72 hours.
Leaf season usually begins in early November and runs through late December. DPW crews will make a minimum of two passes on every street to collect leaves during those weeks. Leaves should be placed in piles along the curb or placed in biodegradable paper leaf bags available at most hardware stores. Leaves placed in plastic bags will not be collected. Because of new statewide regulations from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, leaves and other yard waste cannot be placed in the roadway more than seven days prior to the scheduled collection dates or closer than ten feet from any storm drain inlet. Please call the city's leaf hotline at (732) 827-2063 during leaf collection season to learn where DPW crews will be working that day.
Street resurfacing and reconstructions are performed on an annual basis by private contractors and not the DPW. The City Engineer recommends streets that are in the most need of resurfacing and reconstruction.
Parking will be restricted on the above streets during resurfacing, and motorists are asked to use extra caution when traveling through the area.
Please watch this space for an updated list of streets scheduled to be resurfaced. For more information, please call the City Engineer at (732) 827-2176.
Rahway is responsible for over 6,600 shade trees in our city and has the honor of being named a Tree City USA for its care and promotion of healthy trees. These trees help contribute to the attractive character of Rahway and it is also estimated that each street tree adds $5,000 to the value of a home and keeps homes cooler in the summer. The city will remove a street tree only if it is dead or is in immediate danger to life and property. If you would like to have a street tree placed in front of your home, please e-mail us and include your name, address, and phone number so we can add you to the street tree list.
The city's water utility has been municipally-owned for over 130 years. It is managed by Suez Water Rahway. You may call Suez Water at (877) 303-2435.
The City does not maintain flood maps. To find your new advisory elevation, type in your address at FEMA’s advisory elevation website.
We are responsible to be certain that each year every parcel of real and personal property in the City of Rahway is listed on the tax rolls and assessed at its fair market value.
The majority of property values are based on market value. Market value is generally accepted as being the price which the property would bring following a reasonable exposure to the market, where both the buyer and the seller are willing to buy and sell, are not acting under compulsion, and are reasonably informed as to the uses and purposes for which the property is adapted and is capable of being used. That is a hypothetical willing buyer, who did not have to buy, would pay for your property to a hypothetical willing seller who did not have to sell. We know that you did not buy your home as a speculation, but to live in. But, the actions of people who buy and sell property like yours set the value of your property.
To make a proper assessment on a building, it is desirable for the Assessor to see the inside and the outside of the property. The law requires that property be valued from actual view or the best information available. The Assessor keeps records on the physical characteristics of each property in the city. Even though the Assessor may have been unable to examine your property, the assessment will still be reviewed, based on the existing records and the sales of similar properties.
When an interior inspection is not allowed, the Assessor will attempt to update the records by looking at the property from the outside and using any other available information. To ensure an accurate assessment, it is to your advantage to allow the Assessor inside your property when an inspection is requested. By denying an inspection, you may lose the right to appeal your assessment.
Generally speaking, improvements that increase the market value of a property will increase the assessed value. The following are typical items that will increase the assessed value of your property:
General economic conditions such as interest rates, inflation rates, supply and demand, and changes in tax laws will influence the value of the real estate. As property values change in the marketplace, those changes must be reflected on the assessed value of Rahway’s properties.
There are differences between individual properties and between neighborhoods. In one area the sales may indicate a substantial increase in value in a given year. In another neighborhood, there may be no change in value, or even a decrease in property values. Different types of properties within the same neighborhood may also show different value changes. There are numerous factors to be considered in each property which will cause the value of homes to differ. Some of these factors are: location, condition, size, quality, and number of baths, basement finish, garages, and many others.
The amount of your tax bill depends on two factors. The first is the assessed value (based on classification) of your property, which is the Tax Assessor’s job. The second is the tax rate, expressed as dollars per hundred, for each taxing entity in which property is located. This rate is set by the established budgets of taxing entities (i.e. county, municipalities, and school boards) in which the property is located. The Union County Board of Taxation then strikes the tax rate from the total amount of taxes needed to be collected.
Please contact the Tax Assessor at (732) 827-2030 to schedule an appointment.
Land and building assessments cannot be appealed separately.
A tax appeal is not an appeal of your tax bill. The amount of taxes you pay is never an issue during an appeal because neither the Tax Assessor nor the Union County Board of Taxation has control over budgets submitted by municipalities, schools, counties or fire districts.
No. The municipality cannot accept tax appeals. Your appeal form should be filed with the Union County Board of Taxation.
The filing deadline is April 1 of the tax year in question. This means that the appeal form must be received on or before April 1. The date of mailing is not used in determining whether an appeal is timely.
No. Comparable assessments are not acceptable evidence of the value of your property. You should submit at least three recent comparable sales of other properties of a similar type in the same neighborhood.
Assessments cannot be avoided by delaying issuance of a certificate of occupancy. If the building is “substantially complete” it is subject to assessment.
Payment of first-quarter taxes and other municipal charges (e.g., water, sewer, etc.) is a prerequisite to the appeal process. Your appeal will not be accepted unless taxes and other municipal charges are paid.
We will attempt to resolve discrepancies by stipulation if ethically possible. A settlement stipulation completed sufficiently in advance of a scheduled hearing will serve to avoid an unnecessary appearance before the Union County Board of Taxation. However, if the assessment is defensible in our opinion, we will provide you with the evidence that supports our position.
The senior citizen and veteran (including widow/er of a veteran) property tax reimbursements are $250 for each. Applications are available at the Tax Assessor’s Office. For more information – including eligibility requirements – please visit the New Jersey Division of Taxation. The deadline for applying for a senior citizen and disabled property tax reimbursement is December. 31. The deadline for applying for a veteran property tax reimbursement is December. 31. Forms for each are available at the Tax Assessor’s Office.
Yes, you would get that from the Zoning department.
The City of Rahway is not required to maintain property surveys but may have surveys due to past applications for permits and other alterations.