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Measure advances to replenish open space fund

Local News | Jun 06, 2014

Measure advances to replenish open space fund

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A Senate committee has advanced a measure to fund the state’s open space preservation program for 30 years.

The proposal relies on existing revenue to generate about $71 million a year for four years.

Additional funds would be added by redirecting 2 percent of corporation business taxes beginning in the year 2020.

Sen. Bob Smith, the resolution sponsor, says the measure provides a way to sustain preservation programs without further straining the state budget.

Voter approval would be required.

Residents have supported 13 prior open space resolutions, mostly by authorizing borrowing.

The fund is currently out of money.

The Assembly has yet to consider the measure.

A proposal to use $200 million a year in sales tax revenue to buy open space stalled last year.