Lifton introduces "Green" tax credit bill for homebuyers

By WBNG News

Lifton introduces "Green" tax credit bill for homebuyers

May 17, 2013 Updated May 17, 2013 at 5:37 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton announced Friday that she is introducing a new bill in the NYS Assembly to create the Homebuyers’ Tax Credit for the purchase of a new or renovated energy efficient home with a rating on the home energy rating system (HERS) of 50 or less.

According to a news release:

Under the program, a homebuyer will receive a $5,000 refundable personal tax credit for the purchase of a HERS 50 new home, or an existing home renovated to a 50% energy reduction, a $7,500 tax credit for the purchase of a HERS 25 new home, or a renovated home with a 75% energy reduction, or a $10,000 tax credit for the purchase of a Zero-Net-Energy home, or an existing home renovated to Zero-Net-Energy. The home must be the homebuyer’s primary residence. One or two family residences qualify.

“This bill, if enacted into law, is an all-around win for our communities, the economy and the environment”, said Lifton. She continued, “It’s a win for builders, construction workers and building supply companies, as we build new homes, renovate older housing stock and reduce the foreclosed home inventory.  It’s a win for homebuyers who will get the tax credit for purchasing a more energy-efficient home. It’s a win for the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“ It will pay for itself as revenues to both state and local government increase from this multi-faceted and much-needed economic activity, while we fight the crucial battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” concluded Lifton.

Graham Gillespie, president of HOLT Architects said, “Almost 70% of our residences were built before the adoption of modern energy codes around 1980.  We have the opportunity, with targeted efforts to upgrade building envelopes and energy systems, to put people to work, grow the economy, and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions right “at home”.

“We’re so grateful that Assemblywoman Lifton has introduced this legislation” said Gay Nicholson, President of Sustainable Tompkins.  “It’s past time for federal and state governments to offer stronger incentives for investments in energy efficiency.  We can’t afford the costs of climate disruption, and we must do all we can to encourage a rapid decrease in fossil carbon emissions.  This tax credit sends the right signal to homebuyers and builders to prioritize energy savings.”

"Any program that draws attention to a crucial issue such as climate change, provides a practical means of addressing that issue, and rewards doing so - all at the same time - is a triple win. In a climate increasingly characterized by gridlock, bitter partisan feuding and defensive politics, it's refreshing to see one of our elected officials take on a challenging issue and propose a creative way for dealing with it.  Bravo Barbara Lifton," said Frank Kelly, Co-Chair of Cortland Environmental Advisory Committee.

Ken Dye, Cortland Deputy Mayor added, “Assemblywoman Lifton has been an advocate for the middle class and working families, and the introduction of this legislation shows she supports the need for better energy-efficient housing, by offering tax incentives to purchase these houses.”

Beth Klein from Sustainable Cortland and SUNY Cortland said, “I would like to express my support for this proposed legislation. It will increase energy efficiency housing projects in Cortland County. It will support our local businesses, increase local jobs, keep more money in the Cortland community, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and reduce home energy costs.  All of this will help make Cortland County an even better place to live and work.”

Brent Katzmann licensed realtor and designer/builder said, “I support the “green homes” homebuyer tax credit because it will enable builders and developers to invest in achieving significantly higher levels of energy efficiency with an expectation that they can reflect this added expense in the sale price and, yet, attract a broader pool of qualified candidates for purchase by means of the proposed tax credits.”

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