Brookhaven bill would grant tax exemption for green buildings
Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine will introduce legislation at Tuesday's town board meeting that would give a minimum of three-year tax exemptions for constructing or revamping green buildings.
The resolution, co-sponsored by the entire town board, follows a state law authorizing local governments or school districts to provide property-tax exemptions for buildings meeting LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Design, certification standards.
A public hearing on the resolution, followed by its adoption, is expected March 5, town officials said. "I'm sure it's going to be enacted," Romaine said during a news conference Monday announcing the initiative at the town's parks and administration building, which is also LEED registered, in Centereach.
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The state law passed last year applies to construction or improvements beginning last month, town officials said.
Eligibility for the tax exemption must include more than $10,000 in construction costs, plus having a town building permit. The building also needs certification from LEED, an ecology-oriented building program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Councilwoman Jane Bonner called the resolution a good idea and said those constructing the buildings are spending upfront money that would be recouped on the back end.
"The tax abatements make this a win-win for those who are building as well as the environment," she said.
Depending on the building's certification, tax breaks could last up to 10 years. For example, a LEED-certified platinum building will receive a 20 percent tax exemption 10 years after construction; a LEED-certified silver building would get a 20 percent break for up to seven years after construction, but none thereafter.
"The new law will have a far-reaching beneficial effect on the way people plan future construction that conserves energy and is better for the environment," Councilman Tim Mazzei said in a statement.