ASSEMBLY, No. 2604

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 5, 2008

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman LOUIS D. GREENWALD

District 6 (Camden)

Assemblyman PAUL D. MORIARTY

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblyman JOHN J. BURZICHELLI

District 3 (Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Authorizes expenditures from open space trust funds to develop or maintain recreation and conservation land although the land was not acquired by the municipality.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act expanding the eligible use of amounts raised for open space purposes and supplementing P.L.1997, c.24 (C.40:12-15.1 et seq.).

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 7 of P.L.1997, c.24 (C.40:12-15.7) to the contrary, the governing body of any municipality, the voters of which have approved a proposition authorizing the imposition of an annual levy for the development or maintenance of lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes, may, by adoption of an ordinance, appropriate and expend amounts raised by the levy for the purpose of developing or maintaining other land devoted to recreation and conservation purposes, whether such land is owned by the municipality or another public entity, so long as the land is located within the municipality and the improvements will inure to the benefit of the residents of the municipality.

 

     2.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would authorize municipalities, by adoption of an ordinance, to appropriate and expend amounts raised through an annual levy imposed for the development or maintenance of lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes for the purpose of developing or maintaining other land devoted to recreation and conservation purposes, whether such land is owned by the municipality or another public entity, so long as the land is located within the municipality and the improvements will inure to the benefit of the residents of the municipality.

     Under current law, imposition of an “open space tax” must be authorized by adoption of voter referendum.  A recent court decision has indicated that moneys raised from this open space tax for the development or maintenance of lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes cannot be appropriated and expended by a municipality to improve public school fields located within the municipality, because the school property was not “acquired” by the municipality.

     Under this bill, municipalities will be authorized to expend “open space tax” revenues to develop and maintain other land devoted to recreation and conservation purposes, whether the land is owned by the municipality or another public entity, so long as the land is located within the municipality and the improvements will inure to the benefit of the residents of the municipality, despite the provisions of current law or the constraints of a voter referendum that may have limited expenditures from such revenues to lands acquired by the municipality.