Earlier this month, elected officials in the city of Frederick, Maryland, finalized details for a new tax credit that will be made available for developers constructing new buildings. in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. This will enable businesses to receive a break on their property taxes if they make the appropriate changes to meet pre-set energy-efficient building codes. For some companies, this could mean cutting property taxes by up to 50 percent.
The purpose of the new standards is to give businesses financial incentives to make their buildings environmentally friendly. The amount of money the tax breaks are worth will depend entirely on the LEED certification level that each individual structure meets. All buildings that meet basic LEED requirements will see their property taxes drop by 25 percent, with silver or gold level at 50 percent reductions and a massive 75 percent cut for all platinum-certified buildings.
There was some debate about what places should be considered for these tax breaks, as some officials felt it was necessary to upgrade existing buildings before putting a focus on newer structures. Ultimately, it was decided that all buildings meeting the requirements will be eligible for the incentives. While it was acknowledged that the smaller taxes won't completely offset the extra costs of LEED renovations right away, they will go a long way to helping.
Developers will have more of an incentive to create green structures because they will be more durable and last longer without needing upgrades than those made out of traditional materials. They will also be more attractive for potential buyers or residents interested in green features.
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