The full Senate unanimously passed Thursday legislation by Senator Robert Singer to appropriate more than $4 million for grants to certain nonprofits for farmland preservation.
“Farmland preservation remains a necessary initiative in the Garden State to protect a unique facet of our economy and prevent sprawl, which often causes an increase in government and taxes,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “This measure directs to that cause millions of dollars that have been languishing in coffers over the past few years.”
Senator Singer’s bipartisan S-2395 appropriates $4,083,320 — from the 2009 Farmland Preservation Fund, the 2007 Farmland Preservation Fund, and the Garden State Farmland Preservation Trust Fund — for grants to certain nonprofit organizations for farmland preservation purposes. It directs the state Agricultural Development Committee to provide such grants.
This bill also frees up approximately $2.6 million in additional funds for other farmland preservation projects. It allows grants to qualifying tax-exempt organizations for up to half of the cost of acquisition of development easements on farmland for farmland preservation purposes, or up to half of the cost of acquisition of fee simple titles to farmland for resale or lease with agricultural deed restrictions approved by the State Agriculture Development Committee.
S-2395 heads to Gov. Christie for consideration.