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NY to allow tax exemption for LEED buildings

BY Brae Canlen

A bill signed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month is starting to trickle down through local municipalities, which must now decide whether to adopt a tax exemption for buildings certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or other green initiative standards.

Senate Bill 1462, which became law on July 18, 2012, authorizes a municipal corporation to provide a real property tax exemption for certified green building improvements. Municipal corporations will now decide whether to adopt the exemption. Companies considering construction of a potentially qualifying improvement should monitor local legislative activity to see whether the relevant localities have adopted the exemption and should start planning for construction projects scheduled for 2013.

Under the authorizing statute, the exemption would apply to construction projects beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2013. Local law, however, may specify a later date. The exemption would be available only to the extent that the improvement increases the assessed value of the real property. To qualify, the real property improvement must be documented by a building report, and the value of the improvement project must exceed $10,000. Ordinary maintenance and repair projects will not qualify as eligible improvement projects.

For property that is certified by an accredited LEED professional as meeting the certified, silver, gold or platinum designations, the exemptions are equal to 100% of the increase in assessed value as a result of the improvement in the first year. The exemption is gradually phased out over 10 years, with 20% exempted for platinum buildings in year 10 and no exemption in year 10 for certified, silver and gold buildings. The LEED professional must file a copy of the LEED certification with the local assessor’s office, and the assessor must approve the certification.

A more detailed analysis of the new statute can be found at Ryan.com, a global tax services firm headquartered in Dallas.

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Monthly sales show uptick in July

BY Ken Clark

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales were up slightly in July, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, July monthly sales were $403.9 billion, up 0.8% from the previous month, and up 4.1% from July last year.

For building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (NAICS classification 444), July sales were $23.46 billion, up 1.0% from both June 2012 and July 2011.

In other data:

• Non-store retailers (code 454) increased 11.8% from a year ago;
• Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (code 451) increased 10.6% from a year ago; and
• Furniture and home furnishing stores (code 442) showed a 9.9% increase over July 2011.

 

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Sherwin-Williams rejects mini tender offer

BY Brae Canlen

The Sherwin-Williams Co. has received notification of an unsolicited mini-tender offer by TRC Capital Corp., which wants to purchase up to 1,000,000 shares, or approximately 0.97%, of Sherwin-Williams’ outstanding common stock. The offer price was 4.39% below the closing price on July 30, 2012, the day before the offer commenced, according to a Sherwin-Williams press release.

The Cleveland-based paint manufacturer does not endorse TRC’s offer and recommends that shareholders do not tender their shares, according to the statement. “TRC’s offer is a mini-tender offer at a price below the current market price for Sherwin-Williams shares and is subject to numerous conditions,” the company said. “Sherwin-Williams strongly recommends that shareholders obtain current market quotes for their shares, review the conditions to the offer, consult with their financial adviser and exercise caution with respect to TRC’s offer.”

The offer expires on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, EST.

“TRC has made similar mini-tender offers for shares of other large publicly-traded companies,” Sherwin-Williams warned investors, urging them to use caution and do their homework to avoid selling their shares at below-market value.

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