Architecture group calls for a beefed-up energy tax bill

“Early drafts of the bill show that only a paltry six percent of the bill would go towards energy efficiency in buildings — and none for commercial buildings, which consume nearly 20 percent of all energy consumption in the United States,” the group states. 

The AIA urged Levin to add a modified Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction that would provide a $3-per-square-foot tax deduction for energy efficient construction and renovations. 

The group also asked him to include a measure that guarantees local governments the right to establish clean-energy programs through Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) bonds. 

“PACE bonds are particularly important now, at a time when a lack of credit and financing for construction projects has devastated the design and construction industry,” said AIA VP of government and community relations Paul Mendelsohn, in prepared remarks. “As banks have restricted lending, building owners and developers have cancelled projects, taking work out of the hands of architects, builders and others.” 

Mendelsohn noted that employment in his sector has dropped by 25 percent since the recession began in 2007. 

PACE bonds are municipal bonds in which the proceeds for the sale of the bonds are loaned to commercial and residential property owners for the purpose of financing energy retrofits. 

Last week, Levin circulated a draft of his green energy jobs bill that was expected to cost about $22 billion. He also told reporters last week that he hoped to mark up the bill this week.