Princeton Council Approves Tentative $60.9 Million Budget

The governing body for the town of Princeton voted unanimously Monday night to introduce a $60.9 million municipal budget for 2015, an increase of $1.7 million over last year’s $59.2 million spending plan.

Under the proposed budget, the municipal tax rate would increase from 45.4 cents per $100 of assessed property value to 47 cents.

The owner of a home assessed at the town average of  $796,000 would pay $3,741 in municipal property taxes for the 2015 calendar year of the budget it approved, an increase of $128 over the $3,613 they paid for the municipal portion of their tax bill last year.

A public hearing and final vote on the budget are scheduled for April 27.



  1. Once again, Consolidation was promised as a cost savings idea to reduce taxes – FAIL. The Democrats simply cannot help themselves. They have an insatiable appetite for other people’s money and will continue to raise taxes over and over again. They are driving people out of Princeton, and New Jersey.

    1. If you voted for consolidation because you thought there was a promise of cost savings, you weren’t paying close attention to those who were promoting consolidation. Many people (logically) thought consolidation was about cost consolidation/savings, but many of our high-cost services were already consolidated and the “report” of the impact of consolidation that was circulated by consolidation advocates & proponents did NOT show significant and unequivocal cost savings. So, if not cost savings, what was the point? The benefit of consolidation to those more powerful institutions that supported and promoted it was “efficiency” to push policies in their favor through town government. Developers and the University suffered annoyance having to get variances and changes through TWO governments, because generally by the time they were getting to “round two” (whether things were started in the boro or township) citizens would become aware and possibly active. Those pesky “activist” citizens, once they caught on, could get in the way of what the U and developers want to do with this town. Plus, for institutions with power, with only one government its so much easier to “massage” the relationships rather than to have to deal with two governments subject to continued elections and input by citizens. Consolidation of the town was inevitable, and culturally its a “feel good” to be “one town”, but technical consolidation could have proceeded more slowly, by consolidating departments (as the school district had been years ago) and by ensuring the preservation of citizen power and resident interests. As it happened, “consolidation” consolidated the University’s and rich developers power to exert their interests over the town. No cost savings, just a dilution of the power of your vote as a citizen.

      1. Not only did they promise tax savings (not an increase) they blew the $3,000,000 savings by miscalculating reimbursed/overlapping services. Democrats lied.

        But opponents say Lempert and others did exactly that by stressing tax savings in their pro-merger campaign. It made an enticing proposition at a time of broad economic uncertainty.

        “It was like the perfect storm,” says Kate Warren, who successfully led the campaign against consolidation when it was put to Princeton voters in 1996. “The economy was bad, and they were promising so much. And this time they had the government leaders coming out in support, whereas last time they were silent.”

      2. I can’t agree more with you

        “No cost savings, just a dilution of the power of your vote as a citizen.”

  2. For the record, posted links referring to Liz Lempert’s promises on tax savings as a component result of Consolidation have been deleted by the moderator. But anyone can do that research and confirm that was the Democrat’s promise.

    1. The system is set up to not approve posts with links because of SPAM. The moderator did not delete anything.

      1. OK – sorry for the accusation, but when your post says “awaiting moderation” and then disappears without comment, what would you assume? Links are an important way to refer people to background information without having to post a wall of text.

    2. To be fair, taxes did decrease after consolidation. Now they are on the upswing again, because our Council keeps committing to expensive stuff. Upwards of $5million for the new PFARS station, $4million to renovate Community Park South, $1.5million for renovations to the library that was built 10 years ago (seriously). These are big, expensive buys, so it’s no surprise taxes are going up. Ask your Councillors why they voted for a tax rise. All six of them approved it. I’m particularly disappointed by Jo Butler, who was re-elected last year on an anti-tax platform, and then voted for a tax rise less than six months into her new term. Come on Jo!!! But the Councillors must know that they can guarantee reelection no matter what happens to taxes. The Dems are happy to send forward two incumbents without a challenger, and the Republicans have basically thrown in the towel. I expect more and more tax increases to come.

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