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Disagreements emerge over how to fund open space

11-27-13

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s environmental advocates disagree over the best way to fund future open space purchases.

The Keep It Green coalition has called on the Assembly to support long-term funding by dedicating a portion of sales tax revenue already collected.

But the Sierra Club threw its support behind a $200 million bond referendum introduced Monday. It’s intended as a stop-gap funding source while officials look for a permanent source that doesn’t rely on borrowing.

The Senate passed a resolution that would direct a portion of the sales tax to fund open space. But the Assembly balked at the potential cost to other programs that the sales tax also funds.

Keep it Green Chairman Tom Gilbert on Tuesday urged the Assembly to reject what he termed the “bandage approach” of borrowing.