Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced that important legislation increasing funding levels for important environmental projects has been signed into law. This new law, which is in effect now, 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.
"This will put some real financial support behind this worthwhile fund and help it fulfill its potential. The need to protect open space and to clean up the areas that have been polluted is clearly important to the future of our state and this expansion of the EPF will help our state deliver on the promise that was made over a decade ago," stated Senator Flanagan.
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 new law 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.