On December 22, 1992, the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders established the Morris County Open Space & Farmland Preservation Trust Fund with the voter approval of the 1992 referendum. Collection of funds for the Trust Fund commenced on July 1, 1993 with a tax equal to 1/2 cent per $100 of total county equalized real property valuation.
The subsequent approved referenda modified the Trust Fund as follows:
- 1998 (two referenda): Increased maximum collection to 3.0 cents and provided 0.25 cents for the Morris County Park Commission Improvement Fund
- 2001: Increased maximum collection to 5.25 cents
- 2002: Established the Historic Preservation Fund utilizing 1/8 to 1/4 cent of existing tax
- 2014: Established Trail Development as an eligible activity of the Fund
The County Freeholders may set the tax anywhere from $0.00 to $0.05.
2015 Preservation Trust Fund Programs
The levy for 2015 is 1 cent per $100 valuation.
The Preservation Trust Fund is divided into four program areas with Open Space further divided into five sub-program areas with funding allocated as follows:
- ¼ cent ($.0025) for the County Park Improvement program
- ¼ cent ($.0025) for the Historic Preservation program
- 1/20 cent ($.0005) to the Morris County Agriculture Development Board
- 9/20 cent ($.0045) to the Open Space Preservation program allocated as follows:
- 44.4% ($.002) - to Municipal and/or Qualified Charitable Conservancy projects
- 16.7% ($.00075) - to the Morris County Flood Mitigation Program
- 17.8% ($.0008) - to the Morris County Park Commission
- 4.4% ($.0002) - to the Morris County M.U.A.
- 16.7% ($.00075) – for Trails Development (under development)