Making New Jersey “Clean and Green”
October 11th, 2003 by Tim Evans
- Some 12,000 sites across New Jersey have been contaminated, abandoned and now sit idle. Such sites range from large industrial factories to small gas stations.
- Pending voter approval on November 4, a portion of the corporate business tax collected annually would be used as a stable and permanent source of funding for cleaning up these sites. No additional taxes would be required.
- Passage of Public Question No. 2 would also allow a portion of some $80 million in funds already collected to be used in making these sites “clean and green” again, enabling these properties to return to the tax roll, and fostering local redevelopment and new jobs.
REBUILDING COMMUNITIES AND SAVING LAND
Most of the state’s “brownfields” are in older, developed communities across New Jersey. But newer suburbs and rural areas are also pock-mocked by abandoned retail, commercial and industrial sites. When these abandoned sites are also contaminated, the costs of redevelopment can defeat the most interested buyer.
Voters can help reverse this damage in November. If approved, Public Question No. 2 would dedicate a portion of the existing corporate business tax as an ongoing source of funding for site cleanup, and free the use of funds already collected toward the same goal. If redeveloped, such sites can lead the rebuilding of New Jersey communities, spur a stronger economy and reduce the development of open lands.