Pintor Marin Bill to Create Incentives for Green Building Construction Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin to provide tax credits to encourage more green building construction in the state was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.

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A 2011 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that sustainably designed buildings use less energy and water, cost less to maintain, and have occupants that are satisfied when compared to typical buildings.

The bill (A-1355), entitled the "Green Building and Infrastructure Tax Credit Act," would provide tax credits toward the corporation business tax, gross income tax, and certain other specified taxes for developers and owners who design and construct buildings that meet certain "green building" criteria. The "Green Building and Infrastructure Tax Credit Act" would be administered by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury.

“Green buildings provide a better indoor environment and can reduce illnesses caused by air quality issues,” said Pintor Marin. “These incentives can help create more energy-efficient buildings that are good for the environment and the health of the people who will live or work in them.”

Under the bill, a building would qualify for the tax credits if it meets the criteria required for: 1) Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum status under the LEED Green Building Rating System or the LEED for Homes Rating System, 2) a one, two, three, or four Globe status under the Green Globes Program adopted by the Green Building Initiative, or 3) the green building standards set forth in section 7 of the bill to be adopted by the DCA in consultation with the DEP.

The bill directs the DCA, in consultation with the DEP, within one year after the date of enactment of the bill into law, to adopt standards for the "green building" criteria set forth in section 7 of the bill, and requires the standards to be reviewed and updated at least every two years from the date on which they are adopted.

The tax credits provided by the bill would be available for seven years. The total of all credits which could be allocated in the first fiscal year after enactment would be no more than $20 million. In each of the subsequent six fiscal years, up to $50 million of credit allocations may be authorized per year, and any unused allocable amounts may roll over to subsequent fiscal years. An eligible taxpayer may apply no more than 20 percent of their total tax credit in any tax year.

The bill, co-sponsored by Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, Dan Benson, Raj Mukherjiwas advanced by the Assembly Commerce & Economic Development Committee.

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