Princeton residents won’t be seeing any tax increases this year, as a sufficient surplus in the $65-million town budget will allow town officials to fully finance a projected tax hike. Without any changes, municipal-purpose taxes were supposed to increase by $41.86 on average. The spending plan including this measure was passed at a public hearing on April 9.
“Every year our ultimate goal is to deliver quality services for as low cost as possible,” Mayor Liz Lempert said. “One of the things about New Jersey is that our property taxes are some of the highest in the country.”
“We’re not always able to deliver a budget without a tax increase, but when we’re able to do this, it’s a good thing,” she added.
The Citizens Finance Advisory Committee was responsible for these calculations. According to Mayor Lempert, the committee consists of people with professional finance backgrounds who work together with elected officials on the budget and help with forecasting. They predicted $1,000,000 more for the fiscal year than the current budget requires, so some of that money is being used to offset the projected tax increase.
“We have a huge surplus, and the budget is really conservative, so there’s fairly low risk of using up a lot of money on this,” Scott Sillars, the head of the Citizens Finance Advisory Committee, said. “The amount to ensure a $0 increase in taxes was always $36,000, less than 1 percent of the budget. So it was a pretty easy recommendation.”
Marc Dashield, the town administrator, was not available for comment at the time of publication.