State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) announced the New York State Senate recently passed legislation to encourage the building of more “green” homes by creating a property tax exemption. The bill S1710 would help increase demand for environmentally friendly housing by allowing local municipalities to offer a real property tax exemption of 35 percent for a maximum of 20 years.
Green building increases a home’s value while decreasing utility expenses, maximizing the use of natural resources, and minimizing environmental impact. Green buildings are crafted to exceed building codes while remaining cost-effective to own and operate.
The creation of the green development home tax exemption would facilitate growth in the green home market by offsetting the increased up-front building costs for many environmentally friendly home features. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates that U.S. homebuyers are willing to pay between 11 and 25 percent more for green homes and that the demand for green homes will rise 900 percent over the next five years. Additionally, over 40 percent of current home remodels are constructed with green products.
Homeowners in municipalities that choose to participate in offering the exemption would be eligible if their new home meets specific NAHB or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Features of the home could include use of recycled content in building materials, renewable energy sources, utilities that conserve water, low- or no-VOC finishes, among others.
The bill has been sent to the Assembly.