Open Space Initiatives (2009)
Support Open Space, Farmland and Historic Preservation!
Vote! November 3rd State Ballot Question
On June 25, 2009, the New Jersey Senate and Assembly voted with strong bi-partisan support to place a $400 million bond measure on the November ballot to let voters decide whether to continue funding for the Green Acres, Blue Acres, Farmland Preservation programs and the NJ Historic Trust.
Funds from the 1998 Garden State Preservation Trust and the 2007 bond measures have all been appropriated for state, county, local and non-profit open space, farmland and historic preservation projects throughout the state, leaving coffers virtually empty for any new projects.
[+ ZOOM] Land such as this in Ocean County needs funding to be purchased. © PPA
On November 3rd voters will have an opportunity to vote to renew the open space funding programs with a $400 million bond measure which would fund Green Acres, Blue Acres, Farmlands Preservation and the New Jersey Historic Trust.
What You Can Do:
- Support protection of farmland, open space and historic preservation by voting YES on the ballot question on November 3rd.
- Ask your organization, board, town and county to pass a resolution in support of the ballot question. Model resolution.
- Write letters to the editor in favor of the ballot question.
Vote! Jackson Residents will also have a Municipal Open Space Question
The current tax levy for Jackson Township’s open space trust fund is 3 cents per $100 of assessed property value. On August 11, 2009 the Township Council voted to place a question on the November election ballot to reduce the open-space tax rate to 2 cents per $100 of assessed property value.
A NO vote will mean the open space tax rate will remain at 3 cents. A YES vote will mean the open-space tax rate will be reduced to 2 cents.
The New Jersey - Keep It Green (KIG) Campaign
Pinelands Preservation Alliance is a member of The New Jersey - Keep It Green (KIG) Campaign which represents over 125 statewide, local and regional organizations ranging from sportsmen’s groups and environmental organizations to affordable housing and urban park advocates.
Keep It Green Banner © Copyright 2008 NJ Keep It Green Campaign
New Jersey Conservation Foundation in cooperation with the Keep it Green Coalition has created a series of three White Papers describing the Benefits, Accomplishments and Future Needs of State Preservation Programs. Some of the findings on economic and environmental benefits are as follows.
Economic Benefits for Land and Property:
- The average home price increases 16% when it is located near permanently preserved open space.
- The value of a vacant lot increases 35% when it is located next to permanently preserved open space.
- Parks contribute up to 20% of the value of homes in urban areas.
- 1,931 farms generated $30 million in income from sales of edible farm products in 2007
Properties listed on a historic register benefit from at least a 5% increase in market value.
- 29 jobs are created for every $1,000,000 spent rehabbing historic residential buildings.
- 38 jobs are created for every $1,000,000 spent rehabbing historic nonresidential buildings.
- Each $1 million spent on non-residential historic rehabilitation creates 2 jobs more than the same money spent on new construction.
A study of five NJ towns found that:
- For every $1 collected in residential property taxes, over $1.00 is spent in municipal services, in a range from $1.10 to $1.51.
- For every tax dollar collected from privately owned natural lands, less than a dollar is spent on municipal services, in a range from 33 to 66 cents.
- For every 10% increase in forest cover, water treatment and chemical costs decrease by 20%.
- One tree provides $62,000 in air pollution control.
- New Jersey’s estuaries and bays provide $5.3 billion in ecosystem services.
- Open spaces in New Jersey support 2,134 known native plant species.
- Open spaces in New Jersey support close to 900 wildlife species.
The complete White Papers are available at New Jersey Conservation's web site.