Princeton University will contribute more than $14.6 million to Princeton Public Schools over the next five years. The annual voluntary contributions will exceed the amount the schools received from voluntary property tax payments the University made in previous years.
For decades, the University has voluntarily paid taxes on properties that were eligible for exemption from taxes under state law. The University has now claimed, and was granted, tax exemption for certain properties previously left voluntarily on the tax rolls.
To make up the lost property tax revenue, Princeton will contribute $2,250,000 to the Princeton Public Schools this year and intends to increase the amount annually by 4%. The contribution will also include an additional $500,000 each year to help fund strategic priorities identified in the district’s strategic plan. For 2023, the total contribution will be $2,750,000.
The timing of the University’s contribution coincides with the finalization of the school district’s strategic planning process. The public schools’ administration has identified recurring and one-time expenditures that will enable the district to meet goals focusing on mental health, enrichment, high performance systems and evidence-based staffing.
“The substantial increase of our support for Princeton Public Schools reflects the University’s ongoing commitment to its community,” said Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber. “The excellence of Princeton’s schools is a point of pride for all of us who work and live here. The community and University have a strong shared interest in maintaining the health and quality of our local school system.”
“Having strong partnerships in our community makes all the difference as Princeton Public Schools moves forward with its strategic plan,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carol Kelley. “I would like to thank and applaud Princeton University for their generous investment in the important objectives of the PPS Strategic Plan and for their commitment to our public schools and our community. Having a specific funding amount set for the next five years enables us to support our students and to make wise, long-term decisions."
In addition to conversations with the Princeton Public Schools, University representatives have been meeting with representatives of the Municipality of Princeton. The University’s most recent two-year contribution commitment to the Municipality of Princeton concluded at the end of 2022, and town and University officials have been developing the terms of a new voluntary contribution framework.
As one component of that broader framework, the University has indicated that, as with the schools, starting in 2023 it intends to provide the Municipality of Princeton with revenue that exceeds the amount of property taxes the University had previously paid to the municipality for properties that were recently granted tax-exemption.
Hilary Parker, vice president and secretary, and Kristin Appelget, assistant vice president for community and regional affairs, led the discussions with school officials on behalf of Princeton University.