A New Jersey appeals court ruled June 25 against tax-exempt status for Cottage Club’s 1906 home at 51 Prospect Ave.
The club sought back taxes dating to 1999, when it began allowing public visits 12 times a year. In 2007 the state Legislature voted to require a tax-exempt facility to be open 96 days a year, retroactive to 1999. The appeals court upheld the Legislature’s action, terming 12 days of public access “a pittance.”
Michael J. Herbert, a special counsel for Princeton Borough, told The Princeton Packet that the borough can now keep $480,000 in disputed taxes, plus interest of more than $600,000. “A private club that excludes the public should not be subsidized by the public to the tune of $65,000 a year,” Herbert said.
Thomas Olson, the club’s attorney, said that Cottage Club has asked the state Supreme Court to review the case.