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News & Notes: Lawrence resident proposes challenge of Lawrenceville school's tax-exempt status in a suit similar to the suit between U., town

Peter Radice Jr., a resident of Lawrence, N.J., challenged the Lawrenceville School's tax exemption status in a lawsuit last week similar to the recent suit between four residents of the town of Princeton and the University.

Lawrenceville school is a private boarding school located in Lawrence, N.J.

On Oct. 4, several residents of the town of Princeton challenged the tax exemption that the University is granted. OnOct. 14, both the town and the University agreed on a settlementof over $18 million to the town. This sum is to be paid out over the next several years. The University has also agreed to provide relief for the property taxes paid by eligible low - and moderate-income homeowners in the town. 

In addition, the University will also be contributing over $400,000 yearly to the Witherspoon Jackson Development Corporation. The funds given to the non-profit are intended to be used for housing aid and similar needs of low-income residents of Princeton. 

The original trial date of the litigation involving the University and several then-residents was Oct. 17, but the settlement was reached before then.

The Lawrenceville School only gave $35,000 in gifts to the town of Lawrence in 2013, and did not give anything to the town in 2014, 2015, or 2016. However, the school’s public relations director Lisa Gillard has stated that it has paid nearly $150,000 in property taxes for its off-campus properties. 

Additionally, the statement said that the school has donated $65,000 to the Lawrence Township Education Foundation this year. The foundation’s purpose is to provide the teachers of the Lawrence Township Public School District various grants for the special requests they might have.

The school has also donated $10,000 to the Lawrence Township Community Foundation, an organization that funds nonprofits operating in the town. The school also gave another $5,000 to the Lawrenceville Main Street, a nonprofit organization works to enhance and revitalize the main street of the Village of Lawrenceville business district.

Not all of the town’s council was in agreement over whether or not this matter should be handled by lawsuit. Councilwoman Cathleen Lewis said that she would prefer that this matter be handled through the state legislature by having it end the tax-exempt status for schools, as opposed to having the Lawrenceville School be sued by town residents, in the same manner that the University was.