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These Regions Are Making it Worthwhile for CEOs to Think Green

Besides recent efforts by many states to cut business and personal taxes recently, one of the most notable strains of economic-development policy has been the growing use by cities and states of tax incentives to drive their green economies.

Given this trend, there are now possibilities to secure sustainably-oriented incentives on this lower level in an arena that, until lately, largely have been dominated by federal policies. As a result, companies may discover situations in which a green strategy is also the most beneficial.

“While barriers to clean energy still exist through all levels of government, certain cities and states are deploying their own tax policy in a way that encourages environmentally conscious conduct,” tax-specializing law firm McDonald Hopkins noted in its newsletter.

“Certain cities and states are deploying their own tax policy in a way that encourages environmentally conscious conduct.”

In Philadelphia, for example, lawmakers recently passed an ordinance that amends its “green roof tax credit” for 2016 to double the credit applicants may receive against their business income and receipts tax to 50 percent of the cost of constructing the green roof, not to exceed $100,000. The credit is currently 25 percent of the cost.

In New Mexico, the state is incentivizing environmentally beneficial conduct with tax credits, McDonald Hopkins reported, including a Sustainable Building Tax Credit that is based on the certification level the building achieves in the LEED system and the amount of qualified occupied square footage in the building. It’s been called the “most aggressive green building tax credit legislation in the country” by the Manufactured Housing Research Alliance.

And in North Dakota, the state just extended the carry-forward period for excess income tax credits derived from a biomass, geothermal, solar or wind-energy device in a building or on property owned or leased by the state.

Massive green incentives to business on the federal level have been greatly discredited by scandals such as Solyndra and perhaps obviated recently by the quiescent price of natural gas, both of which robbed momentum from comprehensive or overly aggressive U.S. programs in past months to encourage green energy. But there’s plenty of action going on at the state and local level now to encourage sustainable thinking by businesses, and companies not only should consider what they would like to do in this area, but should keep on top of what their competitors are doing, as well.


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