Princeton property owners will see a 1-cent increase in the municipal property tax rate under the proposed $64.8 million municipal budget for 2020 that was introduced at the council’s March 9 meeting.
The municipal property tax rate will increase from 49 cents per $100 of assessed value to 50 cents per $100 of assessed value.
This means the owner of a house assessed at the town average of $841,064 would pay $4,216.76 in municipal property taxes for 2020. This is a $70.31 increase over the 2019 municipal property tax bill of $,146.45.
A Princeton property owner’s tax bill includes the municipal tax, the municipal open space tax, the school district property tax, the Mercer County property tax, the Mercer County open space tax and the Princeton Public Library tax.
A public hearing and final action on the proposed budget is set for the Princeton Council’s meeting on April 13.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in the main meeting room at Witherspoon Hall at 400 Witherspoon St.
The proposed 2020 municipal budget is $675,341.03 more than last year’s budget of $64.2 million. The major cost drivers in the budget include employee health insurance, which increased by $239,435, and an increase of $134,000 to the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System pension fund.
By department, Public Safety – which includes police and fire – has been budgeted for $515,561 for firefighters’ salaries and $7.4 million for police officers’ salaries. Fire inspectors’ salaries total $439,234.
There were some decreases in expenditures. Fire and salary wages dropped by $294,439 because six full-time paid firefighters will be hired. The budget had anticipated hiring eight full-time firefighters.
On the revenue side, the main source of revenue to support the spending plan is property taxes. The amount to be raised by property taxes for the 2020 municipal budget is $36.1 million, which is a $754,193 increase over the 2019 amount.
The budget also anticipates using $6.9 million in surplus funds as a revenue source, plus $2.4 million in state aid. State aid has remained flat.
Miscellaneous revenues, such as licenses, fees and permits, Municipal Court fines and costs, and the hotel and motel tax will generate an additional $2.1 million.
This includes $350,000 in fees and permits; $225,000 in fire and housing inspection fees; $90,000 in assorted licenses and $62,000 for alcoholic beverages license fees, according to the budget document.
The hotel and motel tax will generate $328,000 in revenue, and the cable TV franchise fee will produce $250,000 in revenue. Uniform Construction Code fees are expected to be $255,777.
Princeton University will contribute $3.4 million and the Princeton Theological Seminary will contribute $222,363 toward the municipal budget.
Payments in lieu of property taxes from the Institute for Advanced Study amounts to $250,000, and $500,000 from the Tenacre Foundation.
Princeton Community Village’s payment in lieu of taxes is $350,000. The Elm Court senior housing development’s payment in lieu of taxes is $80,000.