February 4, 2013
Supervisor will introduce legislation co-sponsored by the Town Board to set a public hearing for March 12 to adopt Town law
Supervisor Ed Romaine speaks at the Green Building Tax Exemptions press conference. Left to right are the Town’s Energy Coordinator Elizabeth Kirkland, Parks Commissioner Ed Morris, Councilwoman Kathleen Walsh, Councilman Dan Panico Supervisor Romaine, Councilwoman Jane Bonner and Co-Chairman of the U.S. Green Homes Building Council Joe Harbeson.
Supervisor Ed Romaine (left) and Co-Chairman of the U.S. Green Homes Building Council Joe Harbeson outside of the Town Parks Administration Building, a LEED registered building that includes many energy efficient features.
Farmingville, NY – On February 4, Supervisor Ed Romaine held a press conference to announce that he will introduce legislation at the February 5 Town Board meeting to set a public hearing on March 12 for a Town law authorizing tax exemptions for new residential or business construction, or improvements that meet qualified green building certification standards. The legislation is co-sponsored by the entire Town Board. The press conference was held at the Town’s Parks Administration Building in Centereach, a LEED registered building that includes many energy efficient features. Also in attendance was Joe Harbeson, Co-Chairman of the U.S. Green Homes Building Council.
Eligible standards in the proposed Town law include certification by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes rating system, the American National Standard Institute or equivalent standards from similar programs approved by the Town. The Town law mirrors a new State law, sponsored by State Senator Ken LaValle (Port Jefferson) and Assemblyman Fred Thiele (Sag Harbor) that authorizes local governments or school districts to provide real property tax exemptions. The law passed in the Assembly 140-0 and in the Senate 59-0 and applies only to construction or improvements commenced on or after January 1, 2013, as will the Town’s law.
The level of tax exemption included in the Town’s new law would be as follows:
Year Silver Gold Platinum
1 100% 100% 100%
2 100% 100% 100%
3 100% 100% 100%
4 80% 100% 100%
5 60% 80% 100%
6 40% 60% 100%
7 20% 40% 80%
8 0% 20% 60%
9 0% 0% 40%
10 0% 0% 20%
To be eligible for the tax exemption, new construction or improvements must be subject to a valid Town building permit, certified as “green” and cost $10,000 or more to complete. Ordinary maintenance and repairs are not eligible.
Supervisor Romaine said, “Brookhaven is one of the most progressive Towns in the state when it comes to promoting green construction, energy conservation and environmental preservation. This new law is right in line with our policies and it will give homeowners and businesses a greater incentive to ‘go green.’ I commend Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele for sponsoring the new State law.”
Mr. Harbeson said, "The Long Island Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, whose LEED rating system was referred to by Supervisor Romaine, strongly supports Brookhaven's proposal to pass the enabling legislation permitting tax exemptions for certified sustainable construction and building improvements. Super Storm Sandy and other recent extreme weather events make sustainable building even more essential on Long Island, and it is encouraging that the Town of Brookhaven is stepping to the forefront of supporting initiatives for building green."
Deputy Supervisor Dan Panico said, "It is often difficult for many well intentioned people, especially in these trying times, to incur the capital costs of "going green" with regard to new construction. This new program spearheaded by Senator Kenneth P. LaValle paves the way for the people of the Town of Brookhaven to take advantage of this incentive to help relieve the economic burden that is often associated with building to LEED standards. I thank the Senator, the Supervisor and Councilman Mazzei for their leadership on environmental issues."
“Through all my years of public service, I have been a strong advocate of pro-environmental legislation,” said Councilwoman Jane Bonner, “Authorizing tax exemptions for green certification is another positive step for the Town to become more eco-friendly and I am happy to be a co-sponsor of this new law.”
Councilman Tim Mazzei said, “The new law will have a far-reaching beneficial affect on the way people plan future construction that conserves energy and is better for the environment. I expect that years from now, people will look back on a law like this, and say that we did the right thing.”
Councilwoman Kathleen Walsh said, “As a Town, it’s our responsibility to do whatever we can to encourage people to construct ‘green’ buildings that are energy efficient and better for the environment. By authorizing tax exemptions, it’s a great incentive to ‘go green’ now, so that future generations will realize the benefits that this new law provides.”
“It’s fitting that we make this announcement at the Parks Administration building which is a model for energy efficient construction and a project that I was closely involved with from the start,” said Councilman Steve-Fiore Rosenfeld, who serves as the Town Board Liaison to Environmental Protection, “Authorizing tax exemptions will make ‘green’ construction a more economically viable alternative for people who want to save on energy costs and protect the environment. I am very proud to co-sponsor this new law with my colleagues.”
Councilwoman Connie Kepert said, “I have been a long time advocate for cleaner, greener development, both locally and globally. This legislation is a great way for Brookhaven to join with New York State in supporting more environmentally friendly building practices through tax exemptions for projects that meet certain environmental standards. I think this is a great way for the Town Board to move forward together on an initiative that will be a great benefit to our community as a whole.”
For more information about green certification, visit the following websites: U.S. Green Building Council at www.usgbc.org, Green Globes at www.greenglobes.com or the American National Standard Institute at www.ansi.org.
Division of Public Information * Office of the Supervisor
One Independence Hill • Farmingville • NY 11738 • Phone (631) 451-6595 • Fax (631) 451-6258