Two bipartisan bills sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman to provide corporation business tax credits to taxpayers and public utility companies who develop habitats to protect pollinators, such as honeybees, have passed the Senate Environment Committee.
Sen. Kip Bateman’s bills would provide corporation business tax credits to taxpayers and public utility companies who develop habitats to protect pollinators, such as the honeybee. (Flickr)
“We can’t keep New Jersey ‘the Garden State’ without pollinators and keystone species like the honeybee,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “Think about all of the resources we have funneled into our farming and agricultural tourism industries. None of these businesses can flourish without pollinators. Providing CBT tax credits to people who take action to protect pollinators is a fiscally-responsible way to keep our ‘Jersey Fresh products’ growing strong for generations.”
Both pieces of legislation passed by the Senate Environment Committee today would provide corporation business tax credits those who develop qualified native habitats for pollinators, such as the honeybee. There is no current law providing tax credits for pollinator habitats.
Under the bills, these habitats are defined as an area of land developed for the feeding, nesting, and reproduction of native pollinators, such as bees. The habitats must also utilize plants that are native to New Jersey.
The first bill, S-2553, would provide corporation business tax credits to taxpayers that develop a qualified pollinator habitat on their undeveloped properties.
Specifically, under S-2553, a taxpayer that owns or leases at least 25 contiguous acres of undeveloped property in the State, that develops qualified native pollinator habitat on that property would be allowed a credit equal to 50 percent of the cost of developing the habitat, up to $25,000.
The second bill, S-2554, would provide corporation business tax credits to public utilities that develop qualified native pollinator habitat in their rights of way. Under this bill, the credit provided to that utility would be equal to 50 percent of the cost of developing the habitat, up to $50,000.
The pollinating services of bees and other insects are valued at $24 billion annually in the U.S. alone, according to the National Recreation and Park Association.
The National Recreation and Park Association also found that 94 percent of Americans support conservation efforts to protect pollinators.
“A third of crops grown in New Jersey depend on pollinators for reproduction. If we do not take action to build and protect native habitats for these species, we will jeopardize entire industries, not to mention our ability to provide fresh produce to families across the country,” Senator Bateman said. “This the first time we are providing tax credits specifically for pollinator habitats and I am confident that, if our bills are signed into law, we will reap the rewards of this investment for years to come.”
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