TRENTON, N.J. – NJ Keep It Green today praised the Burlington County Freeholders for adopting a resolution that supports establishing sustainable state funding for the preservation and stewardship of open space, waterways, parks, farmland and historic sites throughout New Jersey.
The passage of the resolution brings the number of counties that have adopted resolutions in support of dedicated open space funding to 17 – well over half of the 21 counties in the state.
“With the vast majority of the counties in the state supporting sustainable funding for open space, farmland and historic preservation, it sends a clear message to the Legislature that local communities value the benefits that investments in these programs bring,” said Tom Gilbert, NJ Keep It Green chairman. “NJ Keep It Green urges the Assembly to take heed and pass legislation this year to create a dedicated source of long-term funding to keep our drinking water clean, preserve our family farms and historic treasures, provide community parks, and protect natural flood buffers.”
The Burlington County Freeholders on Wednesday adopted a resolution in support of sustainable funding for Green Acres, Blue Acres, Farmland Preservation and Historic Preservation.
The following are just a few examples of how preservation funding has benefited Burlington County:
“Agriculture is key to our economy and to our way of life here in Burlington County, and the state has always been an important partner in ensuring we can preserve our farms and our farming legacy for future generations,” said Burlington County Freeholder Director Joseph Donnelly. “We are dedicated to preserving farmland and open space and we will continue to work with the state and the federal government to secure the funding to meet our goal of 70,000 preserved acres.”
Jaclyn Rhoads, director of conservation policy for the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, applauded the Freeholders’ action.
“We commend the freeholders for recognizing the critical importance of sustained preservation funding,” said Rhoads. “There are more than 60,000 acres in the Pinelands that still need to be preserved so we can continue to protect our drinking water for the one million New Jersey residents who rely on it every day.”
The state Senate, including Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington) voted twice this summer in favor of legislation that proposes a voter referendum to dedicate $200 million in sales tax revenues annually, less than one percent of the state budget, to renew and sustain funding for the Green Acres, Blue Acres, Farmland and Historic Preservation programs.
The Assembly has not yet acted, but must approve the bill this year so that the Legislature can refer it to the November 2014 ballot.
The proposed sales tax dedication is similar to the Garden State Preservation Trust Act approved by voters in 1998. The Act dedicated $98 million in sales tax revenues, which combined with bonding authority, provided $200 million annually for preservation programs over 10 years.
New Jersey voters have long been supportive of funding for open space, farmland and historic preservation, passing 13 out of 13 ballot measures since 1961. Moreover, voter surveys continue to indicate overwhelming support for a dedicated sales tax for open space funding.
A recent NJ Keep It Green commissioned survey of 600 registered likely voters found that 74 percent of voters support dedicating $200 million annually in state sales tax revenues to fund open space, farmland and historic preservation programs.
In addition to Burlington County, Bergen, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Middlesex, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Union and Warren counties have all passed similar resolutions supporting sustainable open space funding as have the NJ Highlands Council and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.
“On behalf of the Rancocas Conservancy, we are happy to see this resolution passed by Burlington County and added to the list of counties that have passed resolutions in support of funding this past year,” said Barbara Rich of the Rancocas Conservancy.
About NJ Keep It Green NJ Keep It Green is a coalition of more than 185 park and conservation advocates working to create a long-term, dedicated source of funding for the preservation and stewardship of New Jersey’s natural areas, waterways, parks, farmland and historic sites. NJ Keep It Green led successful campaigns to pass statewide ballot measures in 2006, 2007, and 2009 generating $600 million for state open space, farmland and historic preservation programs. For more information or to sign the NJ Keep It Green Statement of Support, visit www.njkeepitgreen.org.
Tom Gilbert (267) 261-7325
Kelly Mooij (732) 539-1693
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s inspector general is launching its own investigation into the lane closure controversy on the George Washington Bridge.Read More >
Sires erupts on Obama after Castro handshake incident U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) wasn't happy with President Barack Obama for shaking the hand of Cuban President Raul Castro at a South African memorial service for the late Nelson Mandela earlier today. "I'm very disappointed that the President would...
By Christopher Durkin Many New Jersey lawmakers have fought to make it easier to vote. And there has been considerable progress in terms of voter access and information. Voter registration has been made easier, with forms available online that... Read More >
"He can't be trusted to run a toll bridge, how can he be trusted to run a country?" - Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19), chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, on Gov. Chris Christie.- MSNBC
Press releases are submitted by PolitickerNJ users, not by staff. They do not represent the viewpoint of PolitickerNJ.com.