ASSEMBLY, No. 6109

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 6, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN ARMATO

District 2 (Atlantic)

Assemblyman  CLINTON CALABRESE

District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  R. BRUCE LAND

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Downey

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Appropriates $32,153,936 to State Agriculture Development Committee, and amends 2017 appropriations for stewardship activities, for farmland preservation purposes.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act appropriating $32,153,936 from various farmland preservation funds to the State Agriculture Development Committee for farmland preservation purposes and amending P.L.2017, c.224 and P.L.2017, c.334.

 

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

 

     1.    a.     There is appropriated to the State Agriculture Development Committee the sum of $25,756,936 in the following subtotal amounts, listed in paragraphs (1) through (4) of this subsection, to pay the cost of acquisition by the committee of development easements on, or fee simple titles to, farmland, to provide grants to counties and municipalities for up to 80 percent of the cost of acquisition of fee simple titles to farmland, to provide grants to qualifying tax-exempt non-profit organizations for up to 50 percent of the cost of acquisition of fee simple titles to farmland, for farmland preservation purposes for projects approved as eligible for such funding pursuant to the “Agricultural Retention and Development Act,” P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-11 et seq.), the “Green Acres, Farmland and Historic Preservation, and Blue Acres Bond Act of 1995,” P.L.1995, c.204, the “Garden State Preservation Trust Act,” P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-1 et seq.), the “Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres, and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2007,” P.L.2007, c.119, the “Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009,” P.L.2009, c.117, and the “Preserve New Jersey Act,” P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-43 et seq.):

     (1)   $25,239,000 from dedicated corporation business tax revenues pursuant to Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 6 of the State Constitution from the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 8 of the “Preserve New Jersey Act,” P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-50);

     (2)   $111,418 from the “2009 Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 18 of the “Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009,” P.L.2009, c.117;

     (3)   $394,727 from the “2007 Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 18 of the “Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres, and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2007,” P.L.2007, c.119; and

     (4)   $11,791 from the “Garden State Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 20 of P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-20).

     b.    Any farmland acquired in fee simple with monies appropriated pursuant to this section shall be offered for resale or lease with agricultural deed restrictions approved by the committee.

     2.    There is appropriated from the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 8 of the “Preserve New Jersey Act,” P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-50), from the “2009 Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 18 of the “Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009,” P.L.2009, c.117, from the “2007 Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 18 of the “Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres, and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2007,” P.L.2007, c.119, from the “Garden State Farmland Preservation Trust Fund,” established pursuant to section 20 of P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-20), from the “1999 Open Space Fund,” established pursuant to the “Open Space – Local Match Program of the Fiscal Year 1999 annual appropriations act,” P.L.1998, c.45, from the “1995 Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 25 of the “Green Acres, Farmland and Historic Preservation, and Blue Acres Bond Act of 1995,” P.L.1995, c.204, from the “1992 Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 24 of the “Green Acres, Clean Water, Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 1992,” P.L.1992, c.88, from the “1989 Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 22 of the “Open Space Preservation Bond Act of 1989,” P.L.1989, c.183, and from the “Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 5 of the “Farmland Preservation Bond Act of 1981,” P.L.1981, c.276, to the State Agriculture Development Committee such sums from any additional proceeds which may become available by the effective date of this act due to the lease or conveyance of land or development easements acquired or funded by the committee, for the purpose of providing for the cost of acquisition by the committee of development easements and fee simple titles to farmland for farmland preservation purposes pursuant to subsection a. of section 1 of this act. 

     Any farmland acquired in fee simple with monies appropriated pursuant to this section shall be offered for resale or lease with agricultural deed restrictions approved by the committee.

 

     3.    There is appropriated to the State Agriculture Development Committee the sum of $2,147,000 from the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 8 of the “Preserve New Jersey Act,” P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-50), for the purpose of providing grants for stewardship activities as defined pursuant to section 3 of P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-45), including soil and water conservation project activities approved pursuant to section 17 of P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-24) and deer-fencing activities approved pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-5).

 

     4.    There is appropriated to the State Agriculture Development Committee the sum of $3,250,000 from the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 8 of the “Preserve New Jersey Act,” P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-50), for the purpose of providing funding for organizational, administrative and other work and services, including salaries, equipment, materials, and services necessary to administer the applicable provisions of P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-43 et seq.).

 

     5.    There is appropriated to the State Agriculture Development Committee the sum of $500,000 from the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 8 of the “Preserve New Jersey Act,” P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-50), for the purpose of providing grants to counties and municipalities for the development of a farmland preservation plan element for the farmland preservation planning incentive grant program established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1999, c.180 (C.4:1C-43.1). 

 

     6.    There is appropriated to the State Agriculture Development Committee the sum of $500,000 from the “Garden State Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 20 of P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-20), for the purpose of establishing an electronic database for use by the committee in administering the farmland preservation program, which shall, at a minimum:   allow applicants to submit annual planning applications and individual farm applications electronically; connect with Geographic Information Systems mapping and spatial information; enable on-line database access for post-preservation monitoring and inspections; and assist in application processing.

 

     7.    There is appropriated from the General Fund to the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 8 of the “Preserve New Jersey Act,” P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-50), the sum of $31,136,000 to implement the provisions of this act.

 

     8.    The expenditure of the sums approved by this act is subject to the provisions and conditions of P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-43 et seq.), P.L.2009, c.117, P.L.2007, c.119, P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-1 et seq.), P.L.1998, c.45, P.L.1995, c.204, P.L.1992, c.88, P.L.1989, c.183, P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-11 et seq.), and P.L.1981, c.276, as appropriate.

 

     9.    Section 3 of P.L.2017, c.224 is amended to read as follows:

     3.    There is appropriated from the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 8 of the “Preserve New Jersey Act,” P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-50), and the unexpended balances in the Diesel Risk Mitigation Fund - Constitutional Dedication account made available for this purpose to the State Agriculture Development Committee the sum of $1,496,340 for the purpose of providing grants for stewardship activities as defined pursuant to section 3 of P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-45), including soil and water conservation project activities approved pursuant to section 17 of P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-24) and deer-fencing activities approved pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-5).

(cf:  P.L.2017, c.224, s.3)

 

      10.    Section 3 of P.L.2017, c.334 is amended to read as follows:

     3.    There is appropriated from the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to section 8 of the “Preserve New Jersey Act,” P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-50), and the unexpended balances in the Diesel Risk Mitigation Fund - Constitutional Dedication account made available for this purpose to the State Agriculture Development Committee the sum of $696,060 for the purpose of providing grants for stewardship activities as defined pursuant to section 3 of P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-45), including soil and water conservation project activities approved pursuant to section 17 of P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-24) and deer-fencing activities approved pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-5).

(cf:  P.L.2017, c.334, s.3)

 

     11.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill appropriates $32,153,936 from various farmland preservation funds to the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) for certain farmland preservation purposes.  In addition, this bill amends two prior appropriation acts that appropriated funds to the SADC for certain farmland preservation purposes.

     Of the funding provided by the bill, $25,756,936 is appropriated to the SADC to pay the cost of acquisition by the SADC of development easements on, or fee simple titles to, farmland, to provide grants to counties and municipalities for up to 80 percent of the cost of acquisition of fee simple titles to farmland, and to provide grants to qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organizations for up to 50 percent of the cost of acquisition of fee simple titles to farmland, for farmland preservation purposes for projects approved as eligible for such funding pursuant to:  the “Agricultural Retention and Development Act”; the “Green Acres, Farmland and Historic Preservation, and Blue Acres Bond Act of 1995”; the “Garden State Preservation Trust Act”; the “Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres, and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2007”; the “Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009”; and the “Preserve New Jersey Act.”

     Of the $25,756,936 provided in section 1 of the bill for the acquisition of fee simple titles and development easements to farmland:  $25,239,000 is from constitutionally dedicated corporation business tax (CBT) revenues in the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund” established pursuant to the “Preserve New Jersey Act”; $111,418 is from the “2009 Farmland Preservation Fund” established pursuant to the “Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009”; $394,727 is from the “2007 Farmland Preservation Fund” established pursuant to the “Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres, and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2007”; and $11,791 is from the “Garden State Farmland Preservation Fund” established pursuant to the “Garden State Preservation Trust Act.”

     In addition, this bill appropriates $2,147,000 from the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund” to the SADC for the purpose of providing stewardship grants for activities, beyond routine operation and maintenance, undertaken by landowners, or farm operators as agents for landowners, to repair, restore, or improve lands preserved for farmland preservation purposes, including soil and water conservation project activities and deer-fencing activities.

     The appropriations in this bill for the acquisition of fee simple titles and development easements to farmland and for stewardship grants have been approved by the SADC and the Garden State Preservation Trust.

     The bill also appropriates to the SADC such sums from any additional proceeds which may become available by the effective date of the bill due to the lease or conveyance of farmland previously acquired in fee simple by the SADC, for the purpose of providing for the cost of acquisition by the SADC of development easements and fee simple titles to farmland for farmland preservation purposes.

     This bill also appropriates $3,250,000 to the SADC from the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund” for organizational, administrative, and other work and services, including salaries, equipment, materials, and services necessary to administer the applicable provisions of the “Preserve New Jersey Act.”

     The bill also appropriates $500,000 to the SADC from the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund” for the purpose of providing grants to counties and municipalities for the development of farmland preservation plan elements as required by law for the farmland preservation planning incentive grant program.  

     The bill also appropriates to the SADC $500,000 from the “Garden State Farmland Preservation Fund,” established pursuant to the “Garden State Preservation Trust Act,” for the establishment of an “e-Farm” electronic database to replace the SADC’s existing, outdated database with a modern database and interface.  Creation of a new database will include:  allowing applicants to submit annual planning applications and individual farm applications electronically; connecting with Geographic Information Systems mapping and spatial information; enabling on-line database access for post-preservation monitoring and inspections; and assisting in application processing.

      Lastly, the bill amends two prior appropriation acts that previously appropriated funds to the SADC for stewardship activities for farmland preservation purposes.  P.L.2017, c.224 and P.L.2017, c.334 appropriated funds from the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund” to the SADC for the purpose of providing stewardship grants for activities, beyond routine operation and maintenance, undertaken by landowners, or farm operators as agents for landowners, to repair, restore, or improve lands preserved for farmland preservation purposes, including soil and water conservation project activities and deer-fencing activities.  This bill amends these 2017 acts to provide that the necessary funds for stewardship activities may also be appropriated from the unexpended balances in the Diesel Risk Mitigation Fund - Constitutional Dedication account made available for this purpose.

     The “Preserve New Jersey Act,” P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-43 et seq.), implements the constitutional dedication of corporation business tax (CBT) revenues pursuant to Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 6 of the State Constitution, approved by the voters of the State in November 2014, for open space, farmland, and historic preservation.  The “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund” was established pursuant to section 8 of the “Preserve New Jersey Act.”