Wimberly, Benson, Mukherji & Pintor Marin Bill to Create Incentives for Green Building Construction in NJ Clears Assembly Panel
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benjie Wimberly, Dan Benson, Raj Mukherji & Eliana Pintor Marin to provide tax credits to encourage more green building construction in the state was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.
A 2011 study by the US 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.
“Green buildings have environmental, economic and social benefits,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). “By providing these incentives, we can help push developers in a more environmentally-responsible direction and ensure more sustainable buildings are built in the state.”
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 construction helps reduce the impact on the environment,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “We should encourage developers to adopt greener practices and create more eco-friendly buildings to help reduce the pollution created by non-renewable sources of energy.”
“Green buildings can help keep the environment clean by reducing the usage of energy sources that pollute the environment,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “Through these incentives, we can get developers on board and get more buildings that are better for the environment and residents.”
“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 was advanced by the Assembly Commerce & Economic Development Committee.