TRENTON, NJ – Acting to enable municipalities to support arts and culture programs and facilities, the Senate has approved legislation authored by Senator Joe Cryan (LD20) and Senator Brian Stack (LD33) that would allow local governments to dedicate funding for the creative purposes.
The bill, S-2459/A-3832, would allow municipal governments to seek voter approval for a tax levy to generate funding dedicated to arts and culture.
“The arts make important contributions to the economy, to education and to the quality of life,” said Senator Cryan. “Theaters, museums and other cultural attractions and activities are significant parts of local communities. They are good for business and they are meaningful expressions of a community’s cultural identity. This will give local residents the ability to authorize dedicated funding to support the arts in their home communities.”
“The greatest works of art in history were funded by others in order to promote ones culture,” said Senator Stack (D-Hudson). “If we provide assistance to the arts, we can support and sponsor local artists to expand their work and expose many New Jersey residents and people who visit our state to our culture and the works of art our artists create.”
The measure would authorize municipalities to adopt ordinances allowing the establishment of an annual tax levy dedicated to support arts and culture, if approved by a majority of voters through a public question. Revenue raised by the levy would be deposited into an “arts and culture fund” created by the municipalities.
The bill defines “arts and culture” to include performing, visual, and fine arts, music, dance, graphic design, film, digital media and video, architecture, humanities, literature, arts education, historic preservation, museum curation, crafts, and folk arts, among other creative activities.