Monday, August 4, 2014

Open-space funding heads to NJ ballot in November

Members of the New Jersey Assembly today voted 58-9 to ask the voters in November to approve using 4 percent of corporate business tax (CBT) for open space, farmland and historic site purchases through fiscal year 2019 and to dedicate an additional 2 percent of CBT revenues from fiscal year 2020 onward.

The Senate voted 36-1 in favor of the legislation in June. Today was the last day for the Assembly to vote in order for the question to be on the ballot this fall.

The funding will replenish the now-depleted Green Acres, Blue Acres, farmland and historic preservation programs, and continue funding for watershed protection, underground storage tank removal, brownfields, and clean-ups of polluted sites

Supporters of the legislation were jubilant at its passage--an outcome that looked highly unlikely until late last week.

NJ Keep it Green: “With little to no funds left for these programs, we are incredibly grateful that the Assembly recognized the urgent nature of the situation and voted to advance the measure to the ballot this November. 

NJ League  of Conservation Voters
:  "After many years of unrelenting advocacy, New Jersey is closer to a sustainable, dedicated, open space funding solution to ensure future generations will have preserved farms and forests protecting our clean water and air."

State Senator Christopher "Kip" Bateman: “This marks an important day for the future of New Jersey as voters now have the opportunity to make sure there is a stable funding source to protect lands that guard against flooding and water contamination and preserve open spaces important to the natural beauty of their communities.”


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