Update: Open Space Ballot Public Question #2

by Thuy Anh Le published Oct 29, 2014 07:50 AM, last modified Oct 30, 2014 11:43 AM
As part of Borogreen’s ongoing resident information program, speaker Joan McGee from the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association made a presentation on open space and budgeting, on October 22, 2014 at the Hillsborough Municipal Building.

Joan McGee is a Municipal Policy Specialist and spoke about the benefits of voting Yes on Question #2, to support a dedicated source of funding for open space, conservation, recreational development, farmland and historic preservation.

State funding for all types of open space and recreation has been used up. The new proposal to be voted upon on November 4th will dedicate 4 % of the existing “Corporation Business Tax” for: 

“the preservation, including acquisition, development, and stewardship, of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, … for the preservation and stewardship of land for agricultural or horticultural use and production; providing funding, … for historic preservation…; paying or financing for the cost of water quality point and nonpoint source pollution monitoring, watershed based water resource planning and management, and nonpoint source pollution prevention projects; .. remediation of discharges of hazardous substances; upgrade, replacement, or closure of underground storage tanks that store or were used to store hazardous substances…”


The funding for these purposes will increase from 4% to 6% of the Corporation Business Tax in 2019.


For the last 50 years, NJ taxpayers have supported bond issues to support open space purchases by an overwhelming majority. Bond issues require the borrowing of money and repayment with interest.


For this referendum, no new taxes are proposed. A variety of important environmental programs and issues will be addressed with dedicated funding from the Corporation Business Tax.


This referendum will ensure:

·         Preservation of land before NJ is completely built out (anticipated by 2050)
·         Protection of clean drinking water and clean rivers, lakes and beaches
·         Access to fresh, local produce through the preservation of farms
·         Protection of wildlife habitat
·         Preservation of the Natural Environment for all residents to enjoy
·         Lessening of future flooding by having more open land and Blue Acres
·         Support for our economy by improving tourism, agriculture, flood control, lower insurance rates.
Joan referenced a NJ Office of Legislative Services snapshot for the year ending Sept 2014 which stated a 21.8% growth in the Corporation Tax. 


The funding for open space does not cause a tax increase for either residents or business corporations. She stated that a Yes Vote on Question #2 is a win-win for all residents and the State economy.


She can answer your questions about Question #2 at 609-737-3735 up until November 4th at 8 PM when we hope you have made your decision and already cast your vote!


Editors Note: This article also published on Wed 10/29/14 in the Hillsborough Patch

BoroGreen is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization and consists of a loosely knit community of residents, businesses, congregations and like-minded groups, all contributing to a more sustainable community in and around Hillsborough, NJ.