New Jersey Legislature Extends Special Appraisal Rules for Land Preservation Efforts in Highlands Region

Owners of land subject to the 2004 Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act (Highlands Act) who preserve their land under the Green Acres Program or the State Farmland Preservation Program will benefit from special appraisal rules for five more years, thanks to legislation signed into law by Governor Christie on September 9. Under the “dual appraisal” provision, which expired last year but has now been extended to 2014, landowners receive two appraisals — one based on current property value, and one based on pre-Highlands Act zoning and other restrictions — and the higher appraisal is used as the basis for negotiation with the State on the appropriate payment.