University, township agree on increased contribution for 2012

Princeton University and Princeton Township have agreed that the University will increase its voluntary financial contribution to the township from $500,000 in 2011 to $525,000 in 2012 — a 5 percent increase — and that the University will contribute an additional $250,000 toward costs incurred by the township in connection with the transition to the consolidation of Princeton Township and Princeton Borough into a new Town of Princeton. The consolidation will be effective as of Jan. 1, 2013. 

"We are pleased to be able to increase our base contribution to the township by 5 percent and to be able to make an additional contribution toward consolidation costs," said University Vice President and Secretary Robert Durkee. "We greatly appreciate the leadership the township has demonstrated in controlling costs while sustaining services, and we recognize the financial pressures it is facing, even as the University continues to cope with its own financial constraints. We are proud of our association with the township, and we look forward to similarly productive discussions with the new municipality when its leadership is in place in early 2013."

"Building on the work that we've done in achieving the first significant voluntary contribution from Princeton University in 2011, I'm pleased to announce that we have been able to build and significantly enhance our relationship with Princeton University for 2012," said Princeton Township Mayor Chad Goerner. "It's clear that the best way to make our community better for all of our residents is to have a collaborative relationship with Princeton University. I and my colleagues have recognized this and have continued to strive for a more professional and strategic dialogue that I hope will be a legacy heeded by the consolidated municipality in 2013."  

Mayor Goerner stated that "the addition of a contribution earmarked for transition costs will go a long way in assuring a successful transition. It will certainly enable us to implement the consolidation commission's recommendations and put us in position to realize taxpayer savings as a result of consolidating the two municipalities. I thank my colleagues and Princeton University's leadership for making a strong commitment to not only uniting our community via a single government but for uniting our community in spirit by making this financial contribution."

The University's $500,000 contribution in 2011 was its first contribution of this kind to the township, although the University has long been the largest taxpayer in the township. More than $600,000 of its tax payment to the township for municipal purposes is associated with properties (primarily graduate student housing) that the University has elected to maintain on the tax rolls even though they qualify for exempt status under New Jersey law. The University's total 2011 property tax payment on potentially exempt township properties was $2.4 million, which includes payments to the school board and the county as well as to the township, and its total 2011 township tax bill, including non-exempt as well as potentially exempt properties, was $4.1 million.