HACKENSACK, N.J. — The Hackensack Mayor and Council are encouraging voters to head to the polls next week and vote on the Open Space Referendum. The Open Space Tax would raise funds to be used for for the purchase and maintenance of properties dedicated to open space, recreation or historic preservation.

“There’s nothing more important than making sure our children have places to play and all residents have open space to enjoy,” said Mayor John Labrosse. “This referendum will allow us to continue to provide as many play areas for Hackensack children as possible.”

If passed, the proposed tax rate would be a half-cent for every $100 of assessed property, which is less than half of the Bergen County Open Space Tax Rate. For the average Hackensack home assessed at $240,000, the annual tax would be $12. However, the City Council plan 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.

“The City Council approved a referendum for this year’s ballot so voters can choose to dedicate funding for these goals,” said Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino. “Please don’t forget to vote on this important measure on Nov. 6.”