Princeton Council adopts 2023 municipal budget with tax rate increase

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The Princeton Council very quietly approved its proposed $72.1 million municipal budget for 2023 at its April 24 meeting.

There were no comments from the public – in person or online – during the public hearing on the spending plan.

The municipal property tax rate will increase from 46 cents per $100 of assessed value to 49 cents. The owner of a house assessed at the town average of $850,320 will pay $4,166 in municipal property taxes, or $255 more than last year.

A Princeton property owner’s tax bill includes the municipal property tax, library and open space taxes, the school district property tax and Mercer County property and open space taxes.

The main source of revenue in the municipal budget is property taxes. The amount to be raised by taxes is $38.1 million for 2023.

The budget calls for applying $8.7 million in surplus funds as a source of revenue.

Miscellaneous revenue is expected to generate $24.3 million. This includes revenue from licenses, fees and permits, Municipal Court fines and costs, and the hotel and motel tax.

The town expects to receive $60,000 in licenses for alcoholic beverages and $350,000 in fees and permits. Municipal Court revenue is expected to be about $700,000. The hotel and motel tax will produce $300,000.

Payments in lieu of taxes from the Institute for Advanced Study amount to $250,000. The Tenacre Foundation will contribute $500,000.

Additional payments in lieu of taxes include $375,000 from Princeton Community Village and $100,000 from Elm Court.

Princeton Community Village, which is located on Bunn Drive, provides low- and moderate-income housing. Elm Court serves low- and moderate-income senior citizens, and disabled adults of all ages. It is located off Elm Road.

Princeton will receive $2.4 million in state aid.

On the expense side, the budget earmarks $9 million for the Princeton Police Department and $1.9 million for the Princeton Fire Department.

The budget allocates $5.5 million for the Department of Public Works, which includes road maintenance and repair, maintenance of public buildings and grounds, vehicle maintenance and maintenance of sewerage facilities.

Finally, $2.4 million is included in the budget for pension contributions to the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System and $1.8 million for the Public Employees Retirement System.