WASHINGTON - A key committee of the New Jersey legislature, responding to comments from the National Paint & Coatings Association and New Jersey Paint Council, rejected a bill that would have imposed a 50% per-container tax on paint.

The proposed tax was designed to help finance a loan program to assist property owners carry out old lead-based paint abatement and management.

The New Jersey Senate Committee on Community Affairs amended the bill to remove the 50% tax following New Jersey Paint Council and NPCA testimony, and partially replaced the funding source with $50 million from the money received by the state as part of New Jersey's tobacco-settlement funds.

A more detailed report on the bill is available on the NPCA website, located at www.paint.org.