Senator Flanagan Calls For Additional Funds To Protect Environment

 

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced final passage of legislation to increasing funding levels for important environmental projects. The legislation, which has passed both the Senate and the Assembly, will increase total funding for the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to $300 million by 2009.

The New York State Legislature created the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) in 1993 to provide a reliable, dedicated source of funding for a variety of key environmental programs in NYS. As the first-ever permanent dedicated environmental funding mechanism in the state, the EPF supports a number of programs including Open Space, Pollution Prevention, Farmland Protection and Rural Parks and Historic Preservation.

The EPF is funded by a dedicated portion of the revenues from the NYS real estate transfer tax, which ensures a reliable stream of revenue to implement EPF projects. Each year, the NYS legislature must appropriate this revenue to the EPF.

The legislation supported by Senator Flanagan will increase the funds from the Real Estate Transfer Tax that are deposited into the EPF from the current level of $212 million to $237 million for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2008. Combined with funds already available, this additional funding will increase the total amount of EPF resources to $250 million next year. This deposit from the Real Estate Transfer Tax will continue to increase each fiscal year so that by 2009-10 the EPF will have a total of $300 million.

The legislation also permanently strengthens the EPF by balancing future land development with increased fiscal support for these and many other important environmental programs.

"The EPF is an extremely useful tool but it needs financial support to fulfill its potential. This legislation will greatly assist in accomplishing the very worthwhile goals of the environmental community and will allow New York State to be a leader in protecting our natural resources," stated Senator Flanagan.

This legislation will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.


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