Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 28
 
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
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University’s Contribution to Borough Deemed Meager in View of Its Wealth

DUDLEY SIPPRELLE
Nassau Street

SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals Thanks Its Sidewalk Festival Donors

ROBERTA N. ELLSWORTH
SAVE Board of Directors

Donors, Volunteers, Supporters Thanked for Annual CASA Children’s Art Sale

STEPHANIE HAUER
Dodds Lane


University’s Contribution to Borough Deemed Meager in View of Its Wealth

To the Editor:

Wonders never cease! The Princeton political power elites have come to the twin realization that escalating property taxes are a serious burden for local taxpayers and that Princeton University is dodging its fair share of the burden for keeping Princeton such a safe and serene locale for academe (Town Topics, July 2). 

If the majority of our elected local officials were more in touch with taxpayers, they would know that Princeton property owners are painfully aware of this “newly” discovered situation. Princeton University administrators also know the usual drill well: Borough officials go hat-in-hand, ask for an increased payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, the University makes a token increase, local officials express gratitude and declare victory. 

What are the facts? The percentage of Princeton Borough residents’ income paid out in property taxes is the highest in Mercer County by far. The cost of municipal government per Borough homeowner (all 2041 of us) is one of the highest in New Jersey (96th percentile). The Borough has the lowest percentage of taxable land of any municipality in Mercer County (only 46 percent compared to the Township’s 80 percent). Princeton University owns 42 percent of the land in the Borough.

Considering the foregoing, Princeton University’s financial contribution to the Borough budget is both meager and disgraceful by any measure, given its wealth and predominance in the community. If the University were to contribute one half of one percent of its annual earnings from its tax-free endowment to the Borough, it would amount to $15 million annually, and more longtime Princeton residents could afford to remain in their homes. 

Where do our local officials fit into this scenario? What is their responsibility? As a starter, Borough Council should recognize that the taxpayers are, in effect, subsidizing Princeton University. Our state legislators should also be questioning the tax-exempt status of such a mega-rich institution. Finally, Borough officials must understand that Princeton University’s grandiose development plans are not necessarily in the best interest of Borough residents, and that Borough officials’ primary obligation is to the citizens who elected them. They should stop rolling over to the University.

DUDLEY SIPPRELLE
Nassau Street

SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals Thanks Its Sidewalk Festival Donors

To the Editor:

The Board, staff, and resident dogs and cats of SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals would like to express their gratitude to Barbara Racich and Merrick’s of Moore Street in Princeton for hosting a wonderful sidewalk festival last month in support of our shelter. Not only did Merrick’s donate 10 percent of their sales to the shelter, but they also enlisted the participation of Dandelion, Bijan Rug Gallery, Cox’s Market, Cranbury Station, Creative Screen Printing and Embroidery, EY Staats Hair Salon, Pawtisserie, Pink Nails, Pryde Brown Photographs, Sweet Sal’s Hot Dogs, Joy Cards, Jordan’s, and Dr. Christopher Garruba of the Nassau Animal Hospital. These businesses all contributed to the success of the festival by providing door prizes, food, and good will to help promote SAVE’s mission — to place the animals in our care in permanent, loving homes as quickly as we can.

SAVE depends on the kindness and generosity of this community to keep our shelter doors open. Merrick’s spearheaded a wonderful event that helped deliver that message as well as provide monetary support for our operations. We sincerely thank them for that, as well as all who participated in the festival.

ROBERTA N. ELLSWORTH
SAVE Board of Directors

Donors, Volunteers, Supporters Thanked for Annual CASA Children’s Art Sale

To the Editor:

Many thanks go to everyone who helped to make my annual Children for Children’s Art Sale to support CASA on June 19 such an enormous success, enabling me to more than double last year’s donation to CASA. CASA (www.casamercer.org) advocates for children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect to ensure their placement in safe and permanent homes.

Thank you to Red Green Blue, Color Me Mine, the Princeton Arts Council, Princeton Charter School, and the Jewish Center Religious School for donating art work and/or gift certificates. I also want to thank Hamilton Jewelers, McCaffrey’s, and Hedy Shepard for their generous donations. Thank you to Cox’s Market for providing all the beverages and baked goods; to Lisa Crane for designing the flyer and Triangle Repro Center for printing the flyers; to Sovereign Bank for continuing to support my efforts on behalf of CASA by allowing me to hold the art sale at the bank, and for matching 100 percent of the donations made to CASA; and to the CASA representatives who volunteered their time at the art sale to speak to donors.

I want to thank my friends who made art and helped to sell the art. I particularly want to thank neighbors, friends, and their parents who helped in a myriad of ways, including assisting in setting up, delivering tables, delivering easels, assisting in breaking down, buying ice cream for everyone who was selling art, and making donations. Above all, thank you to everyone in the community who generously bought art or made a donation.

STEPHANIE HAUER
Dodds Lane

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