Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New Jersey Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City) sponsored a new bill, A3832, that would allow municipalities to ask their voters to approve levies designed to fund local arts initiatives. The voter-approved tax for the arts is modeled after a similar one that creates a fund for open space and historic landmark projects; voters in over 200 New Jersey municipalities have approved open space taxes. For example, Jersey City voters in 2016 approved an open space tax, half-a-cent for every $100 of assessed value. The city reported the tax funds amounted to $622,000 in 2017. In A3832, towns would be able propose an amount before presenting it to voters. 
Assemblyman Mukherji stated, "Jersey City has galleries and arts districts with live-work zoning and an infrastructure that could help incubate legend. But without a dedicated and recurring funding source, we will never reach our potential." If A382 is approved, Jersey City will place a referendum for arts funding on the November 2018 ballot.
Photo: Assemblyman Raj Mukherji's official portrait
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Terrence T. McDonald