LBI Open Space Tax On Ballot

(Photo courtesy of Katie DeVito)

LONG BEACH ISLAND – Two Long Beach Island municipalities had open space taxes on the ballot. Although worded differently, they would provide one cent per $100 of assessed valuation into a fund to buy or preserve land that is undeveloped or historically sensitive.

Beach Haven attempted – for the second time – to have an open space tax. It was narrowly defeated, 195 votes to 186.

Borough manager and clerk Sherry Mason said that there was no specific open space they were looking to purchase, although there are some areas that might become available in the future. An immediate goal would be to provide funding for maintaining the open space that already exists in town.

If the measure had passed, Beach Haven would have been able to get matching Green Acres funding to help maintain their open space, she said.

It was “very disheartening” that Beach Haven missed it by such a close margin, she said.

It was worded slightly differently in each question, and they were very similar in execution. In Beach Haven, it was called the “Municipal Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.” In Long Beach Township, it was called the “Township of Long Beach Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.”

Long Beach voted to enact the open space tax 823 votes to 588.

Long Beach had another question about whether the township should charge for trolley use. That measure. This measure passed 1,169 votes to 306.

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Chris Lundy is News Editor at Micromedia. He has covered Ocean County news and features in various publications since 2003. Lundy worked for Gannett with articles in The Beacon, Observer and Asbury Park Press. He's also written for the Community Connection, Patch and ShoreBeat.