Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 1
 
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
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University Spokesman Answers Charge That Economic Study Was Misleading

ROBERT K DURKEE
Vice President and Secretary
Princeton University

New Mayor of Lawrence Township Asks Residents to Help Serve the Community

PAM MOUNT
Mayor, Lawrence Township

“Cans, Clothes & Coins” Drive Planned by New Volunteer Group on Saturday

SHELLY YEDLIN
Beech Hill Circle
Co-chair, Princeton Area Change for America


University Spokesman Answers Charge That Economic Study Was Misleading

To the Editor:

In his recent letter to the editor (“University’s Economic Impact Study Contains Questionable Calculations,” Town Topics, December 17), Helmut Schwab suggests that Princeton Borough taxpayers would be better off financially if Princeton University’s Borough lands were filled with taxable residences and businesses, as is the case with the University-owned Princeton Forrestal Center lands in Plainsboro. But a recent report by an outside firm finds that this is not the case.

The report finds that Borough taxpayers benefit financially from the University’s presence. This finding is consistent with the fact that according to county records, Princeton Borough taxpayers pay the lowest tax rate of any community in Mercer County when compared on an equalized basis. This means that an owner of a house in Princeton Borough pays less in property taxes than an owner of a house with the same market value in any of the other 12 municipalities in the county. He or she also pays a lower tax rate than an owner of a house with the same market value in Plainsboro.

Mr. Schwab specifically dismisses the impact of student spending at the University Store. Despite its name, the store is an independent, fully taxpaying business that operates at two locations in Princeton Borough, so it does contribute to the Borough budget through the property taxes it pays. Other taxpaying businesses in the Borough that are associated with the University include the independent bookstore, Labyrinth, and the Garden movie theater. These taxes are in addition to what the University pays as the largest taxpayer in the Borough and in addition to its other direct financial contributions, including its annual unrestricted contribution that this year amounted to $1.2 million.

ROBERT K DURKEE
Vice President and Secretary
Princeton University

New Mayor of Lawrence Township Asks Residents to Help Serve the Community

To the Editor:

I want to thank the standing-room-only crowd that came out to the Lawrence Township reorganization meeting and my swearing-in as Mayor for 2009.

It was reassuring that so many residents are interested and involved in our local government. The process was indeed a civic lesson for all of us.

Usually January 1 is a time for each Councilperson to lay out his or her plans, ideas, and goals for the year. I attended to that in my remarks, emphasizing that we all must work together to get through these hard times, and by giving some ideas how everyone can help, using the theme “with your help, it will make a difference.”

Others on the Council did not lay out their ideas for governing this year. I hope this important tradition will continue in future years and that this year was not the last. As Mayor this year, I plan to reach out to all residents of Lawrence for ideas, for help with new thinking and sharing the responsibility to help our neighbors, our town, and ourselves. Lawrence Township is you; you are Lawrence Township.

PAM MOUNT
Mayor, Lawrence Township

“Cans, Clothes & Coins” Drive Planned by New Volunteer Group on Saturday

To the Editor:

With a record number of people in Mercer County needing food, clothing, and cash to get by in today’s struggling economy, Princeton Area Change for America, a volunteer group, is holding a “Cans, Clothes & Coins” drive on Saturday, January 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Albert E. Hinds Plaza, next to the Princeton Public Library on Witherspoon Street.

Volunteers will collect canned and other non-perishable food, used clothing for adults and children, and cash in the form of coins, currency, or personal checks. Especially needed are women’s winter coats in extra large.

All items collected will be distributed to three area community organizations that serve the needy through food and clothing distribution, shelter, education, and counseling: the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton, HomeFront, and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.

We are asking the community to come out and support this worthy event. Our fellow citizens need our help.

For information about “Cans, Clothes & Coins” or Princeton Area Change for America, contact me at shellyyedlin@gmail.com.

SHELLY YEDLIN
Beech Hill Circle
Co-chair, Princeton Area Change for America

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