New Jersey Public Question Three (2007)
Seventy-three million dollars is allocated to farm preservation, with the rest of the funding going toward: purchasing and developing parks, preserving historic sites, and purchasing properties in flood-prone regions.
|New Jersey Public Question 3 (2007)|
Election Results via: The New Jersey Department of State
Under the program, farmers keep their land, but relinquish the development rights to the state; in turn, the state coffer provides "the difference between the value of their property as farmland and its value if developed."
Proponents see the measure as necessary to farmland preservation. The measure, they argue, would allow current farmers to keep their land and pass it down to future generations without the threat of development from private investors. Steve Lonegan, president of the New Jersey chapter of the Americans for Prosperity, argues that the state, currently in great economic debt, cannot afford to take on any more financial burdens. Their message to New Jersey voters is itself economic: Do not waste money, and turn down statewide questions...
Voters opposed to Question Three see this ballot measure as another irresponsible use of money New Jersey does not have. Currently, the state program that funds farmland preservation is set to run out of funding in 2008. Various New Jersey Legislatures have prevented development of 1,616 farms totaling 160,840 acres; over time, said protection has cost the state $944 million ($686 coming directly from state taxes, and $358 million from local governments and charities).
Public Question 3 would furnish $200 million of state bonds for parks and open space initiatives.
New Jersey farmland initiatives have found welcome support since 1981. In the past 26 years, voters have supported state funding five times and "have supported county and municipal spending to save farms many more times."