• Views: in the last
  • 21Week
  • 14Month
  • 194Total


  • NJ A780
  • Implements 2014 constitutional dedication of CBT revenues for certain environmental purposes; revises State's open space, farmland, and historic preservation programs.
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(4/4/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill would implement, for State fiscal year 2016 through State fiscal year 2019, the constitutional dedication of Corporation Business Tax (CBT) revenues for open space, farmland, and historic preservation. Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 84 (SCS) of 2014, or "Ballot Question No. 2," presented to, and approved by, the voters of the State on November 4, 2014, amended the New Jersey Constitution to dedicate four percent of CBT revenues for open space, farmland, and historic preservation, water programs, public and private site remediation, and underground storage tank programs for fiscal years 2016 through 2019, and further increased the annual dedication for certain environmental programs from four percent to six percent commencing in fiscal year 2020 and thereafter. Specifically with regard to open space, farmland, and historic preservation, for fiscal year 2016 through fiscal year 2019, of the four percent CBT dedication, the State Constitution dedicates annually 71 percent for: (1) providing funding, including loans or grants, for the preservation, including acquisition, development, and stewardship, of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, including lands that protect water supplies and lands that have incurred flood or storm damage or are likely to do so, or that may buffer or protect other properties from flood or storm damage (i.e., Green Acres and Blue Acres); (2) providing funding, including loans or grants, for the preservation and stewardship of land for agricultural or horticultural use and production (i.e., farmland preservation); (3) providing funding, including loans or grants, for historic preservation; and (4) paying administrative costs associated with each of those efforts. Commencing July 1, 2019 (i.e., for State fiscal year 2020 and thereafter), of the six percent of the CBT revenue to be dedicated annually for certain environmental programs, 78 percent would be dedicated for the above-listed four purposes. The Constitution also dedicates money received from leases and conveyances of State open space lands. Under this bill, each State park, forest, or wildlife management area would receive an amount equal to the amount of revenue annually derived from leases or conveyances of lands at that State park, forest, or wildlife management area, as appropriate, to be used for recreation and conservation purposes at that State park, forest, or wildlife management area. For fiscal year 2016 through and including fiscal year 2019, the above-described CBT dedicated revenues would be allocated as follows: (1) 64 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; (2) 31 percent would be used for farmland preservation purposes; and (3) 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. Of the monies allocated for the Green Acres program and the farmland preservation program, the bill also allocates funding for stewardship activities. The bill defines "stewardship activity" to mean "activity, which is beyond routine operations and maintenance, undertaken by the State, a local government unit, or a qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organization to repair or restore lands acquired or developed for recreation and conservation purposes for the purpose of enhancing or protecting those lands for recreation and conservation purposes. For the purposes of the farmland preservation program, "stewardship activity" means an activity, which is beyond routine operation and maintenance, undertaken by the landowner, or a farmer operator as an agent of the landowner, to repair, restore, or improve lands preserved for farmland preservation purposes, including but not limited to soil and water conservation projects approved pursuant to section 17 of P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-24). Of the 64 percent allocated each year for the Green Acres program: 55 percent would be used for State open space acquisition and development projects; 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. Of the funding for State open space acquisition and development projects: 50 percent would be used for acquisition projects and 50 percent would be used for development projects. Further, of the funding for State open space development projects, up to 22 percent would be used for stewardship activities undertaken on lands administered by the Division of Fish and Wildlife and up to 22 percent would be used for stewardship activities undertaken on lands administered by the Division of Parks and Forestry. Of the funding allocated for local open space acquisition and development projects, up to 2 percent would be used to fund stewardship activities. Of the allocated funding for open space acquisition and development projects by qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organizations, 11 percent would be used to fund stewardship activities. "Blue Acres" is the term used to refer to properties that have been damaged by storms or storm-related flooding, that appear likely to incur such damage, or that may buffer or protect other lands from such damage. Structures on a purchased property are demolished, the debris is removed, and the land is preserved as open space. The Blue Acres program is administered by the DEP's Green Acres program. Under the bill, funding under the Blue Acres program, when available, would be used for (1) acquisition by the State of Blue Acres properties, or (2) State grants to assist qualifying tax exempt nonprofits in the acquisition of Blue Acres properties. The State would be prohibited from using eminent domain to acquire land for Blue Acres projects, except with the approval of the Legislature by adoption of a concurrent resolution to that effect. However, if needed, eminent domain proceedings could be employed by the State for the purpose only of establishing value. This bill continues the State's existing open space, farmland, and historic preservation programs. It is based on the provisions of the "Garden State Preservation Trust Act" (GSPTA), as well as the "Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009" (P.L.2009, c.117) and the "Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres, and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2007" (P.L.2007, c.119) and, generally, defines relevant terms in the same manner as the GSPTA and continues the respective priority systems, ranking criteria, and funding policies set forth in the GSPTA, except as otherwise specified in the bill. For the Green Acres program, the bill provides that an urban aid municipality may receive a grant by the State for the acquisition or development of lands for recreation and conservation purposes for 75 percent of the cost of acquisition or development of the lands by the local government unit, and this amount may be increased by the DEP up to 100 percent of the allowable funding cap upon a demonstration of special need or exceptional circumstances. Under current law, an urban aid municipality may receive a grant for 50 percent of the cost of the project, with the possibility of this amount being increased to a maximum of 75 percent (up to the allowable cap). In addition, the bill provides that a local government unit or a qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organization may use a grant or loan for recreation and conservation purposes for the construction of a community garden. For the historic preservation program, the bill provides that historic preservation funds may also be used for emergency intervention and the acquisition of historic property easements. The bill defines "emergency intervention" to mean an immediate assessment or capital improvement necessary to protect or stabilize the structural integrity of a historic property. Lastly, the bill provides that the DEP, the State Agriculture Development Committee, and the New Jersey Historic Trust would each, at least once every two years, submit to the Garden State Preservation Trust projects recommended to receive funding under the bill. The Garden State Preservation Trust would then submit the list of projects to the Legislature for funding in the form of appropriation bills.
2nd Reading in the Assembly, Environment and Solid Waste, Substituted by another Bill
Substituted by S969  (on 4/7/2016)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
4/7/2016 A Substituted by S969
4/4/2016 A Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading
4/4/2016 Assembly Appropriations Hearing (13:00 4/4/2016 Committee Room 11, 4th Floor)
2/8/2016 A Reported and Referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee
2/8/2016 Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Hearing (14:00 2/8/2016 Committee Room 9, 3rd Floor)
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 4/4/2016 Assembly Appropriations Committee: Reported Favorably 6 2 3
Detail 2/8/2016 Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee: Reported Favorably 3 0 3