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New Jersey Proposes New Climate Change Taxes

(Noted News) — The state of New Jersey is proposing new tax policies to fund infrastructure projects that they say address climate issues. 

A recent report is projecting that by 2050, sea levels in New Jersey could be up by one to two feet. By 2100, they believe sea levels will be up by two to five feet. 

To address this, the state is proposing taxes that would update coastal real estate and infrastructure to be able to withstand these rising sea levels. Their plan involves designating “sea-level risk zones” and then discouraging or banning development in them with the justification that they are at risk of being flooded. 

Coastal property owners could also receive tax incentives, credits, or rebates, for updating their houses. For example, the plan proposes “living shorelines” over solid water barriers.

“For New Jersey to decrease coastal flood risk, all levels of government and private and nonprofit organizations should share resilience costs,” the report says. “As climate change will require an ‘all hands on deck’ approach, so too must the financial burden be shared beyond state government.”

The plan also takes into account that some families are less financially able to prepare for the effects of climate change, meaning that the new taxes and fees would provide them funding in order to properly respond to the rising sea levels.

New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has given similar proposals before that address the threats to coastal NJ, one of them called the Coastal Community Vulnerability Assessment Protocol.

“The first is a Coastal Community Vulnerability Assessment Protocol (CCVAP), which is intended to be a mapping tool that allows communities to assess their geographic, environmental and social vulnerability to the impacts of storm surge and sea-level rise. The CCVAP will use current information to provide coastal communities with a characterization of the vulnerability of their community (the built environment, public health and safety, natural resources, and economy) to coastal hazards. The CCVAP can help communities plan for the impacts of storm events as well as the future impacts of sea-level rise.”

Shawn LaTourette, the commissioner of the NJDEP, says that New Jersey is the “ground zero” for climate change, and that the state needs to prepare for impending environmental chaos.

“We are ground zero for some of the worst impacts of climate change…We have to get ready for what is happening here today in our state, and what we know is to come.”

As of yet, the plan has no exact numbers for the proposed new taxes and policies.

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