Proposed Bills Would Provide Tax Abatements for Green Construction Projects in Michigan.

17 Mar 2010

The Kresge Foundation's LEED Platinum-certified headquarters in Troy, MI.

In the current economic environment, developers, investors, and owners need as much incentive as possible to take the risk associated with new commercial construction projects in Michigan.  Moreover, even if new construction makes good business sense, developers may have a difficult time justifying completion of the project in an environmentally responsible manner with materials and technology which may initially be more expensive than lower-cost “traditional” building materials (which isn’t always the case — and is the subject of much debate).  In other words, developers often need a push to go green.

The Michigan Senate recently introduced a series of bills (Senate Bills 1111-1113) which, if passed, would offer property tax breaks for new construction and building rehabilitations that achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or “LEED” certification.  Specifically, the bills offer a 20 percent tax break for projects which obtain a basic LEED certification and up to 50 percent for obtaining a platinum certification (the highest level of certification).  The taxes could be abated for up to a maximum of 12 years.

People are watching every dollar in the current economy and anything to encourage development in Michigan is a good thing — especially sustainable development.  More importantly, the bills, if passed, would likely help green projects go forward that otherwise might not go green.  A step in the right direction.

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