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  • NJ A1363
  • The "Preserve New Jersey Act of 2013"; implements constitutional dedication of sales tax revenue for open space, including flood prone areas, farmland, and historic preservation purposes.
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(1/27/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill, to be known and cited as the "Preserve New Jersey Act of 2013," would implement, upon the approval by the voters of the State of an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution, a constitutional dedication of $200 million annually for the next 30 years, from Fiscal Year 2015 through Fiscal Year 2044, for open space, including "Blue Acres" projects, farmland, and historic preservation purposes. Upon approval of the constitutional amendment, currently before the Legislature as Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 138 of 2013, $200 million of sales tax revenue would be dedicated each year for the next 30 years, from Fiscal Year 2015 through Fiscal Year 2044, for the following purposes: (1) $109 million would be used for acquiring and developing lands for public recreation and conservation purposes, including lands that protect water supplies, under the State's Green Acres program; (2) $12 million would be used for the "Blue Acres" program; (3) $73 million would be used for farmland preservation purposes; and (4) $6 million would be used for historic preservation purposes. This bill would implement a dedicated, stable source of funding to continue the State's current programs for open space, farmland, and historic preservation implemented pursuant to Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 7 of the State Constitution, the "Garden State Preservation Trust Act," P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-1 et seq.), and various bond acts passed by the voters of this State over the last 50 years. The project lists to be submitted by the Department of Environmental Protection, the State Agriculture Development Committee, and the New Jersey Historic Trust of projects recommended to receive funding would based upon the respective priority systems, ranking criteria, and funding policies established pursuant to the "Garden State Preservation Trust Act," specifically sections 23, 24, 26, 27, and 37 through 41 of P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-23, C.13:8C-24, C.13:8C-26, C.13:8C-27, and C.13:8C-37 through C.13:8C-41), section 7 of P.L.2005, c.178 (C.13:8C-38.1), and sections 1 and 2 of P.L.2001, c.405 (C.13:8C-40.1 and C.13:8C-40.2), and any rules or regulations adopted pursuant to those laws. Of the $109 million allocated each year for the Green Acres program: $45 million would be used for State open space acquisitions and park improvements and facilities; $55 million would be used for grants and loans to fund local government open space acquisitions and park improvements and facilities; and $9 million would be used for grants to fund open space acquisitions and park improvements and facilities undertaken by qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organizations. "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. Properties are purchased from willing sellers only. The Blue Acres program is administered by the Department of Environmental Protection's Green Acres Program. State sales and use tax revenue in an amount of up to $98 million annually has been constitutionally dedicated for State fiscal years 2000 through 2029 to finance open space, farmland, and historic preservation, including the payment of any debt that may be incurred from the issuance of bonds by the Garden State Preservation Trust for those purposes. As of FY2010, this dedication is no longer available for actual preservation efforts; it can only be used for the payment of debt service. In addition, the funds made available for preservation purposes through the "Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009," the "Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres, and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2007," and earlier similar bond acts have essentially been depleted, except for loan repayments.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified