Princeton University property tax settlement checks to be distributed this week

About 750 homeowners will receive checks this week as part of a settlement that ended litigation that challenged Princeton University’s property tax exemptions for various campus buildings.

As part of the agreement, the University contributed $2 million this year and agreed to contribute $1.6 million a year for the following five years to a property tax relief fund. The fund will distribute annual aid payments to Princeton homeowners who received a homestead benefit under the New Jersey Homestead Property Tax Credit Act in the most recent year for which homestead benefits were paid by the state.

The Princeton University fund for the payments to homeowners will be administered by the Community Foundation of New Jersey.

The 2017 aid payments will be about $2,500 per eligible home. To be eligible to receive a payment this year, homeowners had to qualify for homestead benefits in 2014, which is the most recent year for which homestead benefits were paid by the state. The homeowner must continue to own the home. Homeowners will have 90 days to deposit their checks, and may use the funds for any purpose.

The 2017 distributions establish a maximum amount per eligible home for the subsequent five years of the program. The settlement provides that in each year of the program, any excess funds after all eligible distributions have been completed will be donated to 101: Inc., a nonprofit organization, to provide need-based scholarships for graduates of Princeton High School attending post-secondary educational institutions other than Princeton University.

Eligible homeowners will receive checks directly from the Community Foundation of New Jersey in the first week of November. Questions should be directed to Joyce Jonat at CFNJ at 1-800-659-5533, ext. 225.