Three Superior Court judges have upheld a state tax c ourt decision in West Windsor’s case against Roszel Road-based International School Services Inc., which requires it to pay taxes, despite its nonprofit status.
The decision, handed down on April 20, comes after six years of back-and-forth litigation. Appellate judges Francine Axelrad, Clarkson Fisher, and Paulette Sapp-Peterson ruled that ISS failed to prove that the operation and use of its property was non-profit.
Referencing an earlier tax court decision, the Appellate Court ruled that “the judge had ample basis in the record to conclude that a portion of ISS’ profit was being used to subsidize the operations of its profit-making affiliates through the provision of professional services that were not ‘charged back,’ below-market rents, and unsecured loans that do not appear to have been timely repaid.”
Further, the decision stated, “although ISS has an educational mission, it has lent its name and reputation to promote joint profit-making ventures, as evidenced, in part, by its creation of International Schools Group and ISSFIN [its financial network] which operate out of the same building as ISS and share officers and staff,” as well as its website mission statement that promotes ISSFIN’s "money and asset management products."
A loss would have cost the township more than $1 million in retroactive tax payments that the ISS was seeking to collect from the township.
ISS is a "multi-million dollar corporation that provides services to school overseas, but a good percentage of those schools are run by major oil companies and other corporations," said Township Attorney Michael Herbert.
International Schools Services, 15 Roszel Road, Princeton 08543; 609-452-0990. Roger Hoveo, president. www.iss.edu.