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Government Affairs Albany Update

May 25, 2001

Budget Extenders Do Not Include GIPT Retroactive Credit

The Division of the Budget sent two extender bills on the stalemated 2002FY Budget -- one, appropriations; one, language -- neither of which included creation of a credit for the Section 189 Gas Importation Privilege Tax retroactive to the GIPT's origin in 1991. Creation of such a credit for any Section 186-like actually paid to another state would have removed the unconstitutional infirmity found by the Court of Appeals on 5/1/1 in Section 189.

The significance of the non-inclusion is that for now: 1) any refund claims already filed by 5/1/1 for GIPT paid through 12/31/99 continue to be outstanding with interest due to the taxpayer; 2) refund claims for any open period (generally three years back) for GIPT paid through 12/31/99 may be filed with interest due starting 90 days after the filing; 3) assessments for GIPT not paid for a period ending before 1/1/0 are not re-validated.

Green Building Tax Regulation

The Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a "preliminary draft" of its green building tax credit regulations. The regulation is pursuant to 2000 legislation that makes $25 million in tax credits available for buildings that meet new state "green" standards."

It is an extensive proposal (165 pages), covering tax credit application procedures and substantive requirements for the design, construction, and commissioning of buildings; energy usage, building materials, indoor air quality, waste wastewater management, landscaping and other factors.

Of particular interest to Business Council members is the rule's proposed definitions of what constitutes "green" building material, energy efficient appliances and fixtures, and other standards applicable to manufactured goods.

In a provisions endorsed by the Business Council and member companies, the state will accept any "sustainable forestry" certification program that meets basic criteria. On the other hand, under one compliance option, the rule proposes to preclude the use of most products manufactured with HCFCs in "green buildings." It also contains provisions that discourage the use of vinyl, pressure treated lumber and other manufactured goods.

The Business Council will be preparing an overview of the rule, and will be submitting comments once the rule moves into the formal rulemaking process.