Adolfo Carrion Jr., Bronx Borough President, released a report earlier this month proposing sales tax exemptions and tax credits for businesses investing in green projects. Pointing out the higher cost of green building materials, Carrion said that “tax incentives might be needed, at least in the short term, to encourage green development. . . . [T]he industry’s conversion to environmentally friendly materials is proceeding too slowly. ‘They are not doing it enough,’ he said in an interview. ‘It’s like twisting arms, because it hikes up the cost per square foot.’” The tax credits and exemptions that Carrion proposed
could be a way to meld “pro-growth and pro-environment policies,” according to the report. Under the proposals, developers purchasing “green” materials — such as engineered woods, paints, carpets, and furniture — would be exempt from sales taxes, and green manufacturing businesses within the city’s empire zones would be eligible for credits of up to 29%. Mr. Carrion is calling for a study to examine possible legislation, as well as city programs that enhance education and outreach about “green building” for manufacturers.
I’ve always thought that, in order to be viable in the long-term, and more accessible to smaller owners and developers, programs like LEED really need tie themselves to local financial incentives. It’s certainly very positive to see Carrion, a likely mayoral candidate in 2009, acknowledging this necessity.