What Will The Referendum Cost Taxpayers?
The projected cost for all projects in the referendum is currently $129.6 million. The projects in a currently anticipated Question 1 total $82.5 million, and the projects in a currently anticipated Question 2 total $47.1 million.
The additional tax impact of these costs are outlined in the information and charts below. The projected impact on taxes will continue to be adjusted as we finalize our plans. Please note that a portion of the referendum costs will be funded through construction debt service aid from the state and not by the Princeton taxpayers. This will reduce the cost of these improvements to local taxpayers.
Over the life of the bonds, the average estimated additional tax impact (above what taxpayers are paying today) for the projects in both questions is $160.47 per year, or around $13 per month, on an average assessed home valued at $837,074.
Over the life of the bonds, the average estimated annual tax for the projects currently anticipated in Question 1 will actually represent a reduction of $120.43 per year from the currently paid amount on an average assessed home valued at $837,074.
Because the District’s current debt service will retire in 2023, the old and new debt will overlap for a period of four years. This means that the additional cost to taxpayers will be higher in the first few years than it will be in the years after the District’s current debt has been paid off.
Additional Tax Impact of Questions 1 & 2
Estimated additional costs to taxpayers based on average assessed home of $837,074:
2020: $211.45 annually, or $17.62 monthly
2021: $256.82 annually, or $21.40 monthly
2022: $699.13 annually, or $58.26 monthly
2023: $248.86 annually, or $20.73 monthly
Additional Tax Impact of Question 1 Only
Estimated additional or reduced costs to taxpayers based on average assessed home of $837,074:
2020: $179.48 annually, or $14.95 monthly
2021: $218.57 annually, or $18.21 monthly
2022: $461.99 annually, or $38.49 monthly
2023: ($7.70) annually, or ($0.64) monthly
What Additional Operating Or Annual Costs Would Be Incurred By The District If The Referendum Passes?
In addition to the cost for the bonds to fund the referendum, the district will incur separate operating costs relating to the new and expanded buildings. These costs will include utilities and maintenance, additional staff, insurance and other expenses. Unlike bond costs, these operating costs are paid out of the district’s annual operating budget, which is subject to a State-mandated cap. Specifically, the operating budget is funded by the general tax levy, which cannot increase by more than 2% from year to year. The only exception to this 2% cap is when the State grants the district a limited waiver. In the past, such waivers to slightly exceed the cap have only been granted for extraordinary increases in district enrollment or health care costs.
The district recognizes the importance of the cap to Princeton residents, and is committed to operating within it and in careful consideration of any allowable waivers. The additional increases in operating costs associated with the referendum cannot and will not simply be passed on to Princeton taxpayers. Instead, these increases will be absorbed within the PPS operating budget through deliberate actions by the Board, such as thoughtful reductions in other expenses and the identification of potential increases in revenue.
Estimated additional annual operating costs for the projects currently under consideration by the Board include the following:
Is There Tax Relief For Senior Citizens?
Senior citizens, age 65 and older (or qualifying disabled residents), may be eligible for tax relief and impacted differently by the referendum through the NJ Property Tax Relief Programs. To determine if you qualify, contact NJ State Treasury at 1-800-822-6597 or visit the NJ State Treasury website.