Open space funding options on the table in New Jersey - Breaking News - Press of Atlantic City

Open space funding options on the table in New Jersey - Breaking News - Press of Atlantic City

back Side Panel

Open space funding options on the table in New Jersey

Updated

New Jersey lawmakers are considering ways to jumpstart the state's depleted open space preservation fund.

The Senate's Environmental Committee is scheduled to discuss several funding options Monday. But no decisions are expected.

The options include imposing a water-use fee, dedicating a portion of the sales tax and borrowing.

Borrowing has funded open space purchases for the past 40 years. But the last of the money from a 2009 bond act has been appropriated, leaving the fund broke.

Proponents have long sought a permanent or pay-as-you-go funding source.

The Sierra Club's Jeff Tittel says a water-use surcharge is the best option because the state can't afford more borrowing. He also notes the state's sales tax levy has been decreasing and could be needed to help pay for transportation projects.