Princeton University has agreed to increase its voluntary payment to Princeton Borough by $500,000 next year, bringing the total voluntary contribution to $1.7 million for 2012.
Under the agreement, which is expected to be approved at the next Princeton Borough council meeting, $250,000 of the payment will be used to offset transition costs for the Princeton Borough and Princeton Township merger that will take effect Jan. 1 of 2013.
The school has also agreed to contribute $300,000 toward the expansion of the Princeton Firehouse on Witherspoon Street if or when the firehouse is expanded. The University will also continue to make an annual contribution of $20,000 to the Princeton Fire Department as it has done in past years.
“The increase in the University’s voluntary contribution to Princeton Borough will allow the Borough Council to once again set a target for no municipal rate increase for our taxpayers for 2012,” Borough Council President Kevin Wilkes said. “If we can achieve this for our final year in existence, we will have had no municipal tax increase for four years straight. This is a victory for all Borough residents. I thank the University for increasing their contribution and I challenge my colleagues to do the serious work of restraining the municipal tax rate.”
The school had a 6-year voluntary payment agreement with the borough that expires at the end of this year. In 2011 the university paid the borough a voluntary payment of about $1.2 million.
In 2011 the University, the largest taxpayer in the Borough, paid $3.5 million in property taxes to the Borough, public school district and Mercer County.
The announcement of the deal comes the same week Princeton Township officials announced that the university has increased its voluntary payment to the township by $25,000. The university will pay the township a voluntary payment of $525,000 for 2012, plus an additional $250,000 toward the township’s consolidation transition costs.
Borough and Township officials separately negotiated their voluntary payment agreements with the school.