April 15, 1999
Council seeks members' views on Governor's 'green building' tax credit plan
The Business Council is asking its members to review a new proposal to enact state tax credits for construction and renovation of "green" buildings.
The bill, which was proposed April 9 by Governor Pataki, is designed to encourage the environmentally friendly construction and renovation of commercial office and retail buildings, residential buildings with 12 or more units, and buildings to be used for "public assembly."
It would provide various tax incentives to both building owners and tenants, including tax credits for construction and renovation costs and for the cost of installing alternative fuel sources such as fuel cells and photovoltaic modules, said Ken Pokalsky, Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs.
Higher credits would be available for buildings located within economic development zones.
"We support the intent of the bill, but it includes some provisions that some of our members have expressed concerns about in the past," Pokalsky said.
"For this reason, we're asking our members to review the bill closely and share their responses with us. This will help us determine whether or not to support it," he added.
For example, he noted, some members in the past have expressed concerns about proposals for state standards for appliances and proposals for "green" standards that would restrict the use of building materials.
The total statewide tax credits allowable under the law would be capped at $25 million over the life of the program, and no more than $5 million of such credits would be issued per year.
Under the bill, the state Department of Taxation and Finance and the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) would be directed to make recommendations by April 2008 on whether this "green building" tax credit program should be expanded and/or made permanent.
Also under this bill:
- The state Energy Research and Development Authority would develop guidelines on building energy use and for the performance of appliances, HVAC systems and water heating equipment, and for indoor air quality management.
- DEC would establish standards for building materials addressing recycled content, "renewable source material," and maximum levels of toxicity, volatile organic compound content and "other criteria [the DEC] deems appropriate."
- DEC would also develop standards for water use, landscaping vegetation, control of "runoff" from paved surfaces and other parts of "green" construction.