State legislators wants beekeepers and other pollinating businesses to be eligible for tax credits.
Under a pair of measures, both of which passed the Senate Environment Committee on Thursday by a 4-0 vote, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture would provide tax credits to businesses that develop qualified pollinator habitats for species such as honeybees.
The first measure, Senate Bill 2553, provides credits for businesses for up to 50 percent of the cost for developing a pollinator habitat, provided it’s on a lot of at least 25 acres. The credit is capped at $25,000. Pollinator habitats, according to the bill, should enable the “feeding, nesting and reproduction” of pollinators.
Under the second measure, Senate Bill 2554, the state agriculture department would provide tax credits to public utilities for up to 50 percent of the costs associated with developing pollinator habitats in their rights of way. The S2553 credit is capped at $50,000.
“We can’t keep New Jersey ‘the Garden State’ without pollinators and keystone species like the honeybee,” said Senator Kip Bateman, R-16th District, who sponsored both bills.
“Think about all of the resources we have funneled into our farming and agricultural tourism industries. None of these businesses can flourish without pollinators. Providing CBT tax credits to people who take action to protect pollinators is a fiscally responsible way to keep our Jersey Fresh products growing strong for generations,” Bateman said.