Oregon is often referred to as a green state because its bountiful rainfall. As Oregon’s green construction tax benefits reveal, the title is just as applicable to its environmental philosophy.
It is at the state and local level that green construction has been meeting much success in the area of funding and all in tax credits and reductions. Several states have emerged as leaders and supporters of the United States Green Building Council and the LEEDs Certification program. Among the leading states is Oregon. Oregon, which is one of the States that make up the Pacific Northwest region of the country, has a full range of environmental issues. It borders the ocean and has an extensive inland system of rivers and lakes. It has all of the urban issues with the City of Portland, and it is a fast growing state that has seen development encroaching on its pristine forest areas.
Oregon has become one to the leaders of the green construction movement, and one of its heroes, with a Sustainable Building Tax Credit. This credit starts by determining the value of a building based on its square footage and its LEED Certification level. Once this value is determined a tax break of up to 35 percent is given as a credit. The important thing here is the use of the LEED certification level to determine value. It is a way of saying that the higher the level, the more valuable the building. There could hardly be a better way to support the LEED program than to use it to determine tax savings.
Oregon has other tax credits that are green related. The Business Energy Tax credit is one. This credit is designed to encourage the reduction of energy use and waste, and to encourage the use of alternative energy sources. It is also a tax credit that shows Oregon’s commitment to green construction ideals. Recently, Oregon introduced a program to allow non profit organizations to benefit from this credit even though they were mostly exempt from Oregon taxes anyway.
Although Oregon is a leader among the states in support of green construction via tax breaks, other states have instituted similar credits. New Jersey is another state offering credits. The recognition of green construction and its importance by state governments has been a critical factor in the progress of the movement in the United States.
It is only with the combined efforts of all segments will the problems of our environment can be solved. Individuals must do their part by demanding green construction standards of sustainability in their own home choices. Business and industry must also contribute. It is the government sector that holds the real key. Without the support of government, and without laws that can give teeth to environmental initiatives, little real progress can be made. Oregon has become a leader with its tax benefits, and we can only hope other states follow this example.
Zack Verde is with GreenBuildingCompanies.com - providing green building articles .