Use Open Space Tax To Actually Buy Land

File Photo

The voters of Toms River overwhelmingly approved a nonbinding referendum last fall to allow the township to purchase another 250 acres of open space. I voted for this nonbinding referendum last fall and the original Open Space Referendum in 2001.

In order to purchase another 250 acres, the Republican members of the Council now want to increase the Open Space tax by a penny per hundred of assessed value. This can only be done by placing a binding referendum on the ballot, but the Council doesn’t need to wait for the fall to add more money to the Open Space Fund.

For the last seven years, the all Republican Council has been taking $500,000 from the Open Space Fund and moving it into the General Budget. Over 3.5 million dollars has been taken out of the Open Space Fund over the last seven years that could have been used to purchase land. This is not what taxpayers voted for back in 2001.

If you want my vote for another penny for Open Space, restore the $500,000 to the Open Space Fund and guarantee the money collected will only be used to purchase land. Also put a sunshine clause in the new referendum that the Open Space Tax will disappear when there is no more Open Space to purchase.

Nels Luthman
Toms River



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