The Town of Huntington might be going green. The Suffolk County town is considering giving tax breaks to residents and business owners if they follow the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmentally Design guidelines.
The main backers of the environmentally friendly tax breaks in Huntington are Councilmen Mark Cuthbertson and Billii Roberti, a member of the Town of Huntington's Renewable Energy Taskforce. At a town council meeting, Roberti said the lowering of utility bills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions will decrease electricity rates for all of Long Island.
The LEED-guidelines will include energy efficient heating systems and the use of solar panels to power mass transit and various buildings in the Huntington area. The amount of the tax break for the LEED certification would be dependent on a point system. Depending on how many points are earned, homes and businesses will be ranked with a silver, gold, or platinum rating –with silver being the lowest and platinum being the highest.
The tax breaks for LEED-certified buildings in Huntington include a complete exemption for the increased value between three and six years depending on whether they're certified silver, gold, or platimum. The property tax would then decrease by 20 percent year by year for the next four years.
LEED-certified buildings on Long Island include Wild by Nature in Oceanside, the Brookhaven National Lab Research Support Building, BNL’s Center for Nanomaterials, the Tanger Outlet Mall in Deer Park, Adelphi University’s Sports Center, Hampton Bay schools, and Stop and Shops in Amityville, Carle Place, Coram, Deer Park, East Meadow, East Northport, Lake Ronkonkoma, Medford, Northport, Port Washington and West Babylon.
The U.S. Green Building Council started the LEED rating system of silver, gold, and platinum in 1998. Their main objective is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste sent to landfills, and to conserve energy.