Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) issued the following statement on the Legislature’s passage of compromise legislation, S-2456, that would implement the constitutional dedication of revenues for open space, farmland and historic preservation approved by voters in a 2014 referendum.
“This bipartisan compromise carries out the will of the voters to preserve New Jersey’s open spaces,” said Bateman. “We ensure that the funding voters chose to dedicate to preserving farms, creating parks and saving our state’s historic sites is used as intended.”
Under Ballot Question No. 2, which appeared before votes on November 4, 2014, the New Jersey Constitution was amended to dedicate four percent of Corporation Business Tax (CBT) revenues collected by the state for preservation programs.
The new legislation allocates the CBT-dedicated revenues through FY 2019 as follows:
- 60 percent would be used for acquiring and developing lands for public recreation and conservation purposes, including lands that protect water supplies, under the Green Acres program;
- 4 percent would be used for the Blue Acres program, which purchases flood-prone properties from willing sellers with the goal of dramatically reducing the risk of future catastrophic flood damage;
- 31 percent would be used for farmland preservation purposes; and
- 5 percent would be used for historic preservation purposes.
A maximum of 5 percent each year would be permitted to be used for administrative costs associated with implementing the Green Acres program.
“When residents voted in 2014, they spoke loud and clear that our Green Acres program must have the resources in needs to continue protecting New Jersey’s legacy as the Garden State,” added Bateman. “This compromise, agreed to by both parties in the Legislature and Governor Christie, will help us to achieve that goal.”