Niagara Frontier Publications (NY) (06/05/15) Maloni, J.
The New York Senate unanimously passed Sen. Rob Ortiz's Green Development neighborhood tax exemption bill to encourage more homeowners to build green homes. Local municipalities may offer real property tax exemptions of 35 percent for up to 20 years for green homes. Eligible homes in participating municipalities must meet either National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) or LEED standards with features such as recycled content in building materials, renewable energy sources, utilities that conserve water, and low or no VOC finishes. The measure will reduce gas emissions and water use, increase energy efficiency, and create jobs by increasing demand for green housing by offsetting building costs. Home buyers will pay between 11 and 25 percent more for green homes, according to the NAHB. However, green home improvements offer a return on investment within one to seven years through decreased expenses, while maximizing natural resources and minimizing environmental impact.