Friday, August 10, 2018

Bill providing funding for NJ land acquisitions signed


















Legislation (A4210) providing funds to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to acquire land for New Jersey was signed into law today by Gov. Phil Murphy.

Under the new law,
sponsored by Assembly members John Armato, Roy Freiman, and Mila Jasey, $15.294 million would be appropriated to the DEP with the goal of acquiring lands for the state for both recreational and conservational purposes, including for the Green Acres program and Blue Acres Project.

The Green Acres program was created in 1961 to meet New Jersey's growing recreation and conservation needs, and through public-private partnerships, has protected over half a million acres of open space and provided hundreds of outdoor recreational facilities in New Jersey.

The Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres, and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2007 authorized monies for the acquisition of lands in the floodways of the Delaware River, Passaic River or Raritan River, and their respective tributaries from willing sellers whose properties have been, or may be prone to, damage caused by storms or storm-related flooding.

The funding in this law is provided from constitutionally dedicated corporation business tax (CBT) revenues and provides that 60 percent of the dedicated CBT revenues allocated each year go towards the Green Acres program.



Of that 60 percent:
  • 55 percent would be used for state open space acquisition and development projects (27.5 percent for the acquisition and 27.5 percent for the development);
  • 38 percent would be used for grants and loans to fund local government open space acquisition and development projects; and
  • 7 percent would be used for grants to fund open space acquisition and development projects undertaken by qualifying tax-exempt nonprofit organizations.

Specifically, the law appropriates $12.3 million from the "Preserve New Jersey Green Acres Fund" and the unexpected balances in the Diesel Risk Mitigation Fund to the DEP to provide funding for the acquisition of lands by the state for recreation and conservation purposes, and $2.994 million from the "Preserve New Jersey Blue Acres Fund" and the unexpected balances in the Diesel Risk Mitigation Fund to the DEP to buy lands that have been, or may be prone to, damage from floods or storms.

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