ASSEMBLY, No. 3999

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 30, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  ERIC HOUGHTALING

District 11 (Monmouth)

Assemblyman  BOB ANDRZEJCZAK

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

Assemblyman  VINCENT MAZZEO

District 2 (Atlantic)

Assemblyman  PARKER SPACE

District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)

Assemblywoman  JOANN DOWNEY

District 11 (Monmouth)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman B.DeCroce

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Enables collection of voluntary contributions for Jersey Fresh Program through gross income tax returns.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act enabling the collection of voluntary contributions for the Jersey Fresh Program through gross income tax returns, and supplementing Title 54A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    a.  There is established in the Department of the Treasury a special fund to be known as the "Jersey Fresh Program Fund."

     b.    Each taxpayer shall have the opportunity to indicate on the taxpayer's New Jersey gross income tax return that a portion of the taxpayer's tax refund or an enclosed contribution shall be deposited in the special fund.

     c.     Any costs incurred by the Division of Taxation for collection or administration attributable to this section may be deducted from receipts collected pursuant to this section, as determined by the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting.  The State Treasurer shall deposit net contributions collected pursuant to this act into the "Jersey Fresh Program Fund."

     d.    The Legislature shall annually appropriate all funds deposited in the " Jersey Fresh Program Fund" established pursuant to this section to the Department of Agriculture for the purposes of providing support to the Jersey Fresh Program, which shall include, but need not be limited to, funding advertising, promotional, and quality grading program activities to inform consumers about the availability of locally grown agricultural products.

     e.     As used in this section, “Jersey Fresh Program” means Jersey Fresh for fruits and vegetables, Jersey Grown for nursery crops, Jersey Seafood for aquacultured and wild-caught fish and shellfish, Jersey Equine for equine livestock, and Made with Jersey Fresh for processed food made with New Jersey sourced agricultural products.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately and apply to taxable years beginning on or after January 1 next following the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     The bill enables the collection of voluntary contributions for the Jersey Fresh Program through gross income tax returns.  The purpose of this bill is to create an additional funding source for advertising, promotional, and quality grading program activities under the Jersey Fresh Program.

     In 1984, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture created the first in the nation state-sponsored agricultural branding program, Jersey Fresh, in order to distinguish the high quality of New Jersey produced fruits and vegetables from others in the marketplace.  This State-sponsored branding program was later expanded to include Jersey Grown for nursery crops, Jersey Seafood for aquacultured and wild-caught fish and shellfish, Jersey Equine for equine livestock, and Made with Jersey Fresh for processed food made with New Jersey sourced agricultural products.  These additional programs related to Jersey Fresh could also receive funds under the bill.

     Advertising and promotional materials are used to inform consumers about the availability of locally grown productsThe quality grading program guarantees that each Jersey Fresh commodity meets a certain quality standard for size, shape, and coloring.

     The State’s agriculture and food industry is an essential part of New Jersey’s local economy and this bill allows for the collection of voluntary contributions on gross income tax returns to help support it.

     To receive the gross income tax return contributions, the bill establishes the Jersey Fresh Program Fund.  The fund is scheduled to begin receiving contributions for the first taxable year beginning after the date of enactment of the bill into law.  The bill directs that fund deposits are to be annually appropriated to the Department of Agriculture for the purposes of providing support to the Jersey Fresh Program, which would include, but need not be limited to, funding advertising, promotional, and quality grading program activities.