Princeton Voters Will Weigh In on Two Open Space Questions This November

Princeton voters will consider not one, but two open space referendums when they go to the polls this November.

Voters will be asked to approve an open space tax of 1.7 cents per $100 of assessed property value for the united Princeton. The Princeton Borough Council and the Princeton Township Committee unanimously voted to put the open space referendum on the ballot.

The current Borough rate is one cent per $100 of assessed property value, and the Township rate is two cents. The proposed open space tax rate of 1.7 cents is a “blended” rate that officials say would keep the open space fund revenue neutral for the united Princeton.

Borough voters would see a small increase in what they pay, and Township voters would see a decrease if the referendum is approved.

If the referendum is approved by voters, the owner of a home assessed at the Borough average of $748,070 would pay $127.17 per year to the open space fund in 2013, an increase of $52.36.

In the Township, the owner of a home assessed at the Township average of $821,711 would pay $139.69 in 2013 for the open space fund, a decrease of $24.65.

The funds would be spent for open space acquisition, debt service on open space purchases, and recreation and parks maintenance.

Voters will also be asked to consider a county open space question. Property owners in Mercer County pay two cents per $100 of assessed value to the county’s open space fund. Mercer County officials want to shift the way county open space funds are spent.

Officials are proposing spending 70 percent of the open space fund on park and farmland preservation, 20 percent on recreation and historic preservation, and 10 percent on a new category the county has called “stewardship.” Money from this new category would be used for equipment and personnel.