Princeton University will mail property tax relief checks to about 625 homeowners this week as part of a 2016 settlement that ended litigation by Princeton residents that challenged the property tax exemptions for various properties the school owns.
The payments being made in 2021 are the fifth payments in a six-year program. The last year of the program will be 2022.
As part of the settlement agreement, Princeton University contributed $2 million for 2017 and $1.6 million per year for 2018 to 2022 to a property tax relief fund. The fund distributes 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 the fund received a list prepared by the state of homeowners who were paid homestead benefits. The fund is administered by the Community Foundation of New Jersey.
Aid payments for 2021 will be about $2,350 per eligible home. Homeowners will have 90 days to deposit their checks and may use the funds for any purpose. To be eligible to receive a payment this year, homeowners had to qualify for homestead benefits in 2017, which is the most recent year for which the fund received a list of homeowners who were paid homestead benefits by the state. Recipients must continue to own the home.
The distributions from the fund in 2017, the first year of the program, established 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. 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 starting in the week of Oct. 18. Questions should be directed to Joyce Jonat of the foundation at 1-800-659-5533, ext. 3010.