In the Hamptons, the Village of Sag Harbor is among the first municipalities in New York State to authorize a green building property tax exemption passed last summer in Albany by Governor Cuomo.
Governor Cuomo has signed legislation 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.
There’s been little progress over the past year in activating a 400-kilowatt fuel cell at Connecticut’s largest apartment building. Now, developer Bruce Becker is also waiting on $10 milllion in tax credits and $3.6 million in energy-efficiency grants that he claims the state owes to him.
The “revolutionary” green bond financing for the ambitious Destiny USA mega-mall project in Syracuse, New York may lose its tax-exempt status because the developer has failed to incorporate certain green design features as promised in its application to the IRS for the exemption.
Michael Kanellos’ end-of-year compendium is a pretty neat list, all told, balancing micro items — new dimmers! air conditioners! — and some pretty astute treatments of macro-trends. Kanellos singles out two bigger policies that I am kind of a fan of (in that dorky way that one can be a “fan” of policies), and which I think/hope are likely to wind up being big in 2010.
With comparatively cheap and comparatively green hydroelectric power keeping the lights on and water flowing, and low demand keeping real estate prices low, the stage is pretty well set for Buffalo to enjoy a bloom in green industry.
I took great interest in a number of the documents that NAIOP released in the aftermath of its controversial energy efficiency study. The organization has compiled both an FAQ and fact sheet detailing the various assumptions it made and conclusions it drew in an effort to clarify some of the unproductive vitriol that has flown around the web over the past month decrying its conclusion that 30 percent energy reductions are not practicable for the majority of commercial office properties. Both the fact sheet and FAQ are available on NAIOP’s web site and point out that the results of the study do not apply to all buildings; “[t]he study analyzes a typical office building that represents more than 50 percent of new Class A construction [that took place] in 2008.” NAIOP also clarifies that the subject building is a real 95,000-square-foot, speculative commercial office property in California, and claims that the results of its study show what’s possible for the “vast majority of new construction without having to redesign a typical office building,” calling the results “impressive.”
Once the sole domain of the ecologically minded, the green building movement has gone mainstream. Part of the green building movement has been the increase in solar power use in homes and businesses. The decision by homeowners and businesses to install solar electric systems, which are also known as photovoltaic (“PV”) systems, may be made for a variety of reasons. Some want to preserve fossil fuels and reduce air pollution. Some want to invest in an energy producing improvement to their property. Still others like the independence of a solar system, making them less vulnerable to increases in energy prices. A number of government incentives have helped spur this growth of the solar market. However, the increased interest in solar energy and solar systems has created certain real estate law issues, including: (1) the creation of solar easements, (2) restrictive covenants and homeowner’s association requirements, and (3) compliance with zoning and building codes. This article highlights the current state of the solar market and government incentives, with future articles highlighting each of items (1) through (3) above.
In a previous article here at GRELJ, I discussed the Section 179D Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction, which was extended by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (again, the formal title for the $700 million federal bailout that was passed back on October 3). As I also noted previously, the Bailout also significantly expands the Business Energy Tax Credit that was previously enacted as Section 48 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The duration of available tax credits for solar energy, fuel cell, and microturbine installations has been extended for 8 years until December 31, 2016. The Bailout also increases the available credit amount for fuel cell installations and provides new credits for small wind energy systems, geothermal heat pumps, and combined heat and power systems. Generally speaking, in order to qualify for the Business Energy Tax Credit, the original use of the system must begin with the taxpayer, or the system must be constructed by the taxpayer. It must also meet any performance standards in effect at the time the system is acquired (such as those set forth by the manufacturer). The equipment must also be operational during the year in which the tax credit is claimed in order for the taxpayer to earn the credit. This article provides a brief overview of the available credits for each qualifying type of technology.
I had the pleasure earlier today of leading a conference call with Studley to review provisions of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (the formal title for the $700 federal bailout that was passed back on October 3, referred to herein as the Bailout) relating to energy efficiency in commercial office buildings. Most of the applicable provisions of the Bailout actually extend existing tax deductions and credits, though it does provide additional incentives that I will detail in a subsequent post. Perhaps the most critical provision for commercial owners, operators, and tenants to note is the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction, which was enacted back in 2005 as Section 179D of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. Prior to the Bailout, Section 179D was slated to expire at the end of 2008, but has now been extended through December 13, 2013. In this article, I will review Section 179D in detail. A subsequent post will detail the Bailout’s significant expansion of the Business Energy Tax Credit that was previously enacted as Section 48 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act.