TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein that would provide corporate business tax credits to taxpayers and public utilities that develop qualified native pollinator habitats passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee today.
“Pollinators, like bees, are essential to agriculture in the state. Roughly a third of all crops grown depend on pollinators for reproduction, but we are losing bees due to loss of habitats,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “These bills will encourage the creation of habitats and hopefully help restore the bee population.”
One bill, S-2553, would provide corporation business tax credits to any taxpayers that develop qualifying pollinator habitats on their undeveloped properties. Any taxpayer that owns or leases at least 25 contiguous acres of undeveloped property in the state would be eligible for a tax credit equal to 50% of the cost of developing the habitat, up to $25,000.
Another bill, S-2554, would provide a corporate business tax credit to certain public utilities that develop qualified habitats in their rights of way. The public utilities that could qualify for the credit would include electric, gas and telecommunications utilities. They would be eligible for a tax credit for 50% of the cost for developing the habitat, up to $50,000.
Under both bills, those seeking the tax credit would have to apply for a certification from the Secretary of Agriculture, and provide certain information to ensure the habitat qualifies. Qualified native pollinators would be required to utilize plants that are native to New Jersey.
The bills cleared committee by votes of 3-0 and 4-0 respectively, and next head to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for further consideration.