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  • NJ A1283
  • "Barnegat Bay Protection Act"; establishes Barnegat Bay Protection Fund, dedicates portion of sales tax on lawn fertilizer, authorizes special license plates, and provides for donations.
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(1/27/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill, to be known as the "Barnegat Bay Protection Act," would establish the "Barnegat Bay Protection Fund" to support and help protect, preserve, and remediate the Barnegat Bay estuary and its watershed. The fund would be supported through: (1) dedication of a portion of the sales tax on lawn fertilizer; (2) authorization of special Protect Barnegat Bay license plates; and (3) donations, including those that may be at the time of application or renewal of a license to operate a personal watercraft or power vessel and registration or renewal of a vessel, and at the time a beach badge or tag fee is collected anywhere in the State. Monies in the fund would be used exclusively for the purposes of preservation and remediation of the Barnegat Bay estuary watershed, which may include a public education campaign about the importance of protecting the Barnegat Bay and measures and actions that can be taken to preserve it. Section 3 of the bill establishes the Barnegat Bay Protection Fund, a special non-lapsing fund in the Department of the Treasury. Monies deposited into the fund would include the amounts collected from specialty license plate fees, donations at the time of boat registration or renewal, the dedication of 1% of the sales tax on lawn fertilizer, and donations at the point of purchase of a beach registration fee (i.e., a beach badge or beach tag), or other donations made to the fund. Monies deposited are to be distributed, at the discretion of the State Treasurer in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, and expended exclusively for the purposes of the preservation and remediation of the Barnegat Bay estuary watershed. The State Treasurer, in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, would annually submit to the Legislature a report on the fund, concerning the monies received and spent. The bill authorizes the solicitation and acceptance of donations, by gift, bequest, or devise, from any person or entity, for deposit into the "Barnegat Bay Protection Fund." The bill also provides that 1% of the sales and use tax collected only on the retail sale of lawn fertilizer would be deposited into the fund. The bill would authorize a Protect Barnegat Bay license plate, which would indicate support for, and an interest in, funding the protection, preservation and remediation of the Barnegat Bay estuary watershed. The design of the license plate would be chosen by the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. There would be a $50 initial fee in addition to the registration fees required by law, and in addition to the renewal fees required by law, a $10 annual renewal fee, which would be deposited into the Barnegat Bay Protection Fund. At the time the fee is paid for a license to operate a personal watercraft or power vessel, or for the registration or renewal of a certificate of number (registration) for a vessel, the Chief Administrator of the MVC, or the chief administrator's representative, would inform an applicant that they may make a donation to the Barnegat Bay Protection Fund and how that donation may be made. A donation would be paid to the chief administrator and forwarded to the State Treasurer for deposit into the Barnegat Bay Protection Fund. An applicant could not be denied an operator's license or a certificate of registration based on whether the person did or did not donate to the fund. Finally, the bill provides that, for any municipality charging and collecting a beach badge or beach tag fee, the municipality may provide an opportunity for a person purchasing a badge or tag to donate to the Barnegat Bay Protection Fund at the time the fee is collected. Any monies collected from donations made at the point of purchase of a beach badge or tag would be forwarded to the State Treasurer to be deposited into the fund. A municipality would be prohibited from denying the purchase of a beach badge or tag based on whether a person did or did not donate to the fund.
Environment and Solid Waste
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified