HACKENSACK, N.J. — Hackensack voters approved an Open Space Referendum by a margin on more than 2 to 1 yesterday, meaning funds will be allotted for the purchase and maintenance of properties dedicated to open space, recreation and historic preservation. A total of 4,752 voted Yes while 2,175 voted against it.

“Children, as well as adults, deserve this for all of our futures because open spaces benefit the entire community,” said Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse. “The Hackensack Council and I felt very strongly about this issue and we are happy to see our residents agreed, as they went to the polls and overwhelmingly supported it."

The tax rate will now be a half-cent for every $100 of assessed property, an amount that is less than half of the Bergen County Open Space Tax Rate. For the average Hackensack home, assessed at $240,000, the annual tax will be $12. It is the plan of the City Council to utilize funds from the Hackensack University Medical Center community benefit agreement to offset this, as the program will make the city eligible for more grant funding from county, state and federal government. As a result, the city will be able to build more parks and maintain existing ones with little to no additional costs for local taxpayers.