Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cincinnati boosts incentives for green building

Those developing residential and commercial projects in the City of Cincinnati to U.S. Green Building Council LEED standards will receive larger tax incentives, making the City's program one of the most aggressive in the nation.

On December 19, City Council passed an ordinance that retains the 15-year property tax abatement for residential projects, but enacts a tiered system designed to encourage higher levels of LEED certification. Under the new system, developers can receive a 100 percent abatement for LEED-certified projects up to $275,000 in value, LEED Silver projects up to $400,000 in value, and LEED Gold projects up to $562,000 in value.

LEED Platinum improvements have no capped value. Commercial projects will receive a 12-year, 100 percent property tax abatement for LEED certifications of Silver, Gold, or Platinum.

Previously, all levels of LEED were capped at $562,792.

Established in 2006, Cincinnati's LEED tax abatement program has resulted in the rehabilitation or construction of 164 LEED-certified buildings in the City. Of those buildings, three are LEED Platinum, 23 LEED Gold, 77 LEED Silver, and 61 LEED certified.
Councilmember Laure Quinlivan had her Mount Lookout home built to LEED Gold standards in 2011.

"The City currently gives the same abatement for builders doing the bare minimum to achieve basic LEED certification as for those investing many thousands more in geothermal and solar energy systems to achieve LEED Gold or Platinum," she said in a prepared release. "These changes will make it financially attractive to build the greenest home or commercial building possible."

The new tax abatement will be available for any developer who submits a completed building permit application on or after February 1, 2013.

Previous reading on BC:
Just opened, the Reserve at 4th and Race 93 percent leased (11/12/12)
Quinlivan motion seeks higher levels of LEED (10/22/12)
Alston Park rehabilitation receives CRA LEED tax break (9/25/12)
Phase two of University Edge wins LEED tax exemption (9/24/12)
City's LEED-CRA ordinance makes development 'attractive', but could use tweaks (5/14/12)