Friday, January 8, 2010

The Return of 'Tax Fairness'

During the last Borough Council election, the idea that the University was failing to pay a fair share in taxes to the Borough was a central part of each of the Borough Council candidates' platforms. The tax-exempt status of much of Princeton's campus is an issue for the Borough, Township and West Windsor, all of which have suffered in the recent economic downturn. Therefore, the Princeton Township Council is planning to introduce a resolution at its upcoming meeting to call for an increased dialogue on the idea of a further voluntary contribution from the University to the Township, according to a report in The Princeton Packet.

The Princeton Citizens for Tax Fairness, the bipartisan group calling for the increased donation, argues that the University uses services but does not adequately pay for them. According to a founding member and Township councilwoman, if Princeton were not a nonprofit, it would have paid $42 million in taxes in 2008.

On the other hand, the University argues that its economic impact stretches beyond taxes and that it does already offer voluntary contributions. University contributions amounted to $8.9 million to the Borough and Township, as well as $3.5 million in voluntary taxes.

Will this new resolution make a difference to the amount of Princeton's voluntary contribution? Do you think that it should be increased?


Andrew Stella said...

Am I reading this correctly? They want force the school to increase its *voluntary* tax contribution? haha