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New York State Passes Real Property Tax Exemption Legislation for Green Buildings

Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo signed legislation authored by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I, D, WF-Sag Harbor) and State Senator Ken LaValle which authorizes local governments or school districts to provide a real property tax exemption for new green building or renovation projects constructed after January 1, 2013 by local law, ordinance, or resolution.

The legislation provides that any new commercial or residential construction or renovations exceeding $10,000 that meet LEED requirements (or those of other equivalent rating systems such as the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes rating system, or other substantially equivalent green building certification systems) can be eligible for a tax exemption. The legislation was approved unanimously by the State Assembly (140-0) and Senate (59-0).

Depending on the certification level, the homeowner or business can receive up to a 100-percent exemption. For example, if a project earns LEED Silver, the full 100-percent exemption will be available for three years until phasing out in 20-percent increments by year 8. On the other hand, for qualifying LEED Platinum projects, the full 100-percent exemption will last for six years before decreasing by 20-percent per year until phase-out in year 11. Similarly, for LEED Gold, the full exemption lasts through year 4 until decreasing by 20-percent annually until phasing out completely in year 9.

“Under Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York has become pro-active in promoting efforts to reduce energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions by promoting energy efficiency in homes and businesses throughout the state,” Assemblyman Thiele told the Sag Harbor Express. “Significant measures have already been enacted in an effort to accomplish this goal such as on-bill financing, solar feed-in tariffs, and net metering. This legislation, my most significant environmental bill since the creation of the Community Preservation Fund (CPF), [provides] another major incentive to promote energy efficiency and conservation. Not only will this legislation reduce energy demand, it will promote economic development by encouraging new construction that meets green building standards.”

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