TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Alex Sauickie’s legislation updating the appraisal process for determining the value of farmland acquired for preservation was cleared by an Assembly committee on Monday.
“From limiting urban sprawl to providing locally grown produce, preserved farmland benefits communities in so many ways. In order to encourage farmers to participate in the preservation program, New Jersey needs to ensure that farmers are getting a fair deal and purchase offers reflect the true value of their land,” Sauickie (R-Ocean) said.
Sauickie’s bill (A4729) creates a new appraisal formula that considers the value of farmland in nearby towns and counties, the importance of preserving farmland in the area, and other relevant factors. The State Agriculture Development Committee would be required to use whatever appraisal process resulted in the higher value as the basis for negotiations with the landowner.
The bill is supported by the New Jersey Farm Bureau, North Hanover Township, Jackson Township Council, the Burlington County Agriculture Development Board, and the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey.
New Jersey had approximately 750,000 acres of farmland with 247,400 acres preserved through the Farmland Preservation Program as of Sept. 2022.