Princeton University will mail checks to about 550 Princeton homeowners next week as part of a legal settlement reached between a residents’ group and the school back in 2016 that ended litigation challenging the school’s property tax exemptions for certain properties.
The property tax relief checks are the final payments in the six-year program. There is no provision for the program to continue beyond this year.
As part of the agreement, Princeton University paid $2 million in 2017 and $1.6 million per year from 2018 to 2022 to a property tax relief fund. The fund distributed annual 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.
The 2022 payments will be about $2,465 per eligible home, a university representative said. Homeowners will have 90 days to deposit the 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 2018, which is the most recent year for which the fund received a list of homeowners who were paid homestead benefits by the state, and must continue to own the home.
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. For the first five years of the program, more than $380,000 has been donated to 101: Inc.
Eligible homeowners will receive checks directly from the Community Foundation of New Jersey starting in the week of October 10. Questions about checks should be directed to Carolyn Lange at the foundation by calling 1-800-659-5533, ext. 3004.