Sales tax-open space preservation bill released

TRENTON – The sales tax – open space preservation resolution was overwhelmingly passed by the Senate.

The vote was 36-2, with Sens. Jennifer Beck and Sam Thompson casting the sole no votes.

The resolution, which residents will vote on in the general election, calls for amending the Constitution to dedicate $200 million annually from FY2015 to FY2044 of sales and use tax revenue for preservation of open space.

Sen. Bob Smith (D-17) of Piscataway, said the federal funds for buyouts and other flood control measure “will barely scratch the surface.

“There are literally thousands of homes and businesses in harm’s way,” he said. There will be a constant source of funding.”

Sen. Chris Bateman (R-16) of Neshanic Station, said a stable source of funding is needed to preserve space and maintain high-quality drinking water.

He said the funding will help many communities, particularly flood-prone communities.

“It’s the right thing to do at the right time.”

But Sen. Jennifer Beck of Red Bank said she has serious concerns about having this as the solution.

Sales tax-open space preservation bill released