Hoping to spur the development of green infrastructure in its community, local leaders of Cincinnati, Ohio, have put in motion a series of initiatives aimed at lowering tax burdens on individuals and companies that develop eco-friendly buildings within the city limits. According to Cincinnati News, the City Council approved the tax measures during a meeting on December 26, just one day after Christmas.
At the heart of the program is a 15-year "tax abatement" policy that will allow those who qualify a long grace period, during which time they will be free from a variety of local levies. Cincinnati, the source stated, has used this type of inventive in the past to spur local growth.
However, one local leader told the News that a LEED certification, which is issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, is not as hard to come by as it once was. The point of the abatement plan, Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan stated, is to push organizations that participate to build state-of-the-art buildings that go above the standards.
"It's getting so easy to achieve LEED there’s nothing to incentivize people to do the best they can," Quinlivan, who reportedly spearheaded the new idea, was quoted as saying.
Whether these improvements will have an impact on Cincinnati's construction sector remains to be seen. One developer, who spoke with Cincinnati News, stated that he believes it is a good idea but remains skeptical about the number of homes that will be built under the new framework. Regardless of the outcome, however, it's an encouraging sign that communities are taking a more active role in deciding how renewable energy is utilized in their daily lives.