Letter to the Editor: January 16, 2012
The whole story
Regarding “Goldfarb blasts University, Tilghman,” (Jan. 11, 2012):
As your Jan. 11 article correctly reported, the University’s voluntary contribution of $1.2 million to Princeton Borough last year was more than 10 percent of the total tax revenues ($9.5 million) collected in Princeton Borough. In addition to its voluntary $1.2 million contribution, the University is also the largest taxpayer in the Borough, and largely because of the University’s contribution, the Borough has the lowest tax rate of any of the 13 municipalities in Mercer County. Next year, the University’s voluntary contribution will be $1.7 million. (By contrast, when President Tilghman took office, it was just over $100,000).
But this is only the beginning of the story. In recent years, the University has made significant capital contributions to Princeton public schools, Princeton Public Library, the Arts Council, the restoration and lighting of the memorial plaza in front of Borough Hall and the development of Hinds Plaza, and it has made significant investments to sustain the operation of the Garden Theatre and to keep an independent book store on Nassau Street.
It has made separate contributions on behalf of affordable housing and open space. At the Borough’s request, the University has helped subsidize the FreeB shuttle service. It has been contributing $100,000 to support a position overseeing the Fire Department and created a program under which University employees serve as volunteer firefighters in the community. Many of our students help staff the First Aid and Rescue Squad. The University does much of its own policing and all of its own garbage collection, thereby relieving the Borough of significant expenditures.
In addition to these contributions to the Borough, the University also makes significant voluntary financial contributions to the Township ($775,000 this year) and is also its largest taxpayer.
Robert K. Durkee
Vice President and Secretary