WHEREAS, the voters of the County of Morris approved six (6) Public Questions concerning the creation and use of an Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund for the County of Morris in 1992, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2014, which established the maximum tax rate of five and one-quarter ($.0525) cents and authorizes the use of the funds for open space acquisition, farmland preservation, historic preservation, and trail development; and
WHEREAS, as authorized by N.J.S.A. 40:12-15.1 et seq., the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Morris established the Morris County Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund (hereinafter “Open Space) in 1992 by resolution dated December 22, 1992; and
WHEREAS, N.J.S.A.40:12-15-2.b. authorizes the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders to annually set the “Open Space” tax rate not to exceed the rate in the proposition approved by the voters and allocate the monies among the approved purposes.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Morris as follows:
1. That the Morris County Director of Finance is directed to include an authorization for the amount to be raised by taxes dedicated for the purposes of the County of Morris, an " Morris County Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund Tax" (hereinafter the “Open Space Tax”), in addition to the County tax authorized in the 2016 Morris County budget.
2. The dedicated "Open Space Tax” to be raised by taxation, which will commence on January 1, 2016, is equal to five-eighths ($.00625) of a cent per $100 of total County equalized property valuation.
3. The dedicated "Open Space Tax” will be identified in the annual abstract of ratables for Morris County at the prevailing equalized valuations.
4. The monies raised through the dedicated “Open Space Tax” shall be allocated as follows:
a. The amount of ¼ cent ($.0025) from the Open Space Tax authorized for the year 2016 Morris County budget for the preservation and acquisition of historic properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas, or objects as recommended by the Morris County Historic Preservation Review Board.
b. The amount of 18/61cent ($.00295) from the Open Space Tax authorized for the year 2016 Morris County budget for the acquisition of lands for recreation, open space and conservation purposes, which shall be further allocated as follows:
i. 13/62 cent ($.0021) to municipal and/or qualified charitable conservancy open space projects as recommended by the Morris County Open Space Trust Fund Committee
ii. 7/82 cent ($.00085) to the Morris County Park Commission for eligible projects
c. The amount of 2/25 cent ($.0008) from the Open Space Tax authorized for the year 2016 Morris County budget for trails development.
5. Copies of this resolution shall be provided to the Morris County Board of Taxation, County Treasurer and Director of Planning & Public Works in order to implement the tax for 2016 as indicated by this resolution.