Friday, June 28, 2013

Lawsuit Challenges Princeton Tax Exemption

One had to figure this was coming sooner or later: a lawsuit challenging state property tax exemption for Princeton University, which a state trial judge has refused to dismiss. The arguments in the case appear familiar: the lawyer for the plaintiffs (property owners in Princeton, N.J.) contends that many of Princeton's buildings are used for commercial purposes, and should be put back on the property tax rolls.  To quote the story:

“In 2011 Princeton University received $118 million in patent royalties and distributed $30 million from the profits to faculty members,” Afran [the lawyer for the plaintiffs] said. “Under the law they are not even entitled to a tax exemption because they are engaged in commercial patent licensing, and the school give out a percentage of profits to faculty. Under the law in New Jersey,  if a nonprofit gives out profits, it is not entitled to an exemption at all.”

The final quote sort of sums it all up:

“In many ways these modern universities have become commercial enterprises.”

JDC

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/nonprofit/2013/06/lawsuit-challenges-princeton-tax-exemption.html

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