EDITORIAL: Trenton fails on open space02 Jul 2014, Posted by State News in
Open space is precious in New Jersey, and most residents understand the importance of preserving it. Voters are so sensitive to the need that they have repeatedly approved tax-hike proposals on local, county and state levels to assure money remains available to secure available land.
So it’s quite likely that New Jerseyans would support a new plan designed to establish a stable, long-term funding source for open space. The proposal has bipartisan backing, spearheaded by Democratic Sen. Bob Smith and Republican Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman, and it involves no new money. Instead, a small percentage of corporate business tax revenue that already goes to environmental programs would be redirected toward preservation. An estimated $71 million a year would become available in the first five years — still far below past expenditures. The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a ballot question for a constitutional amendment to enable the plan.