Greening the 10-year tax abatement

    As the city searches for ways to address the budget crisis, grumbling is increasing over the city’s ten year tax abatement. A new City Council proposal would raise the bar on those tax breaks by attaching green-building requirements.

    As the city searches for ways to address the budget crisis, grumbling is increasing over the city’s ten year tax abatement. A new City Council proposal would raise the bar on those tax breaks by attaching green-building requirements.

    Transcript:
    The ten-year tax abatement is credited with helping revitalize Philadelphia’s downtown. But with the city facing a $1 billion budget gap over the next five years, some wonder if its worth it. The tax break allows any new construction, or residential conversions to maintain their tax assessments at predevelopment levels. It applies to projects as small as a new deck, and as large as the Comcast Center.

    City Councilman Curtis Jones wants to add a caveat – no tax abatements unless the project meets the green building certification.

    Jones: “We have to look at whether tax abatements as a whole should be there, and if they are there what should be the standard by which they are judged. And I think green is a healthy standard. Either we’re gonna get more revenue or we’re gonna get more green. I’m OK with either of those choices.”

    Green building requirements include environmentally friendly construction materials and techniques.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090306green.mp3]

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