On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the most significant overhaul of the American tax system in three decades. The $1.5 trillion package includes significant changes to corporate and individual tax structures that will impact investment decisions around the United States and abroad.
Although these changes are significant to businesses and consumers across the country, one of the areas that was largely unaddressed in the package is existing energy credits and deductions. The House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee recently held a hearing to consider whether temporary tax breaks, like the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction 179(D), should be extended again or made permanent.
A number of representative,s including the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, the Alliance to Save Energy and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, testified in favor of extending and updating 179(D) to make sure that is continues to incentivize commercial building efficiency. Currently, 179(D) allows commercial building owners and businesses to receive a tax deduction up to $1.80 per square foot for certain energy efficiency improvements.
Specifically, Henry Chamberlain, President and Chief Operating Officer of BOMA International, testified that "the most effective way for the federal government to enact change and encourage and incentivize increased energy efficiency in commercial buildings is to provide a permanent extension of 179(D). We look forward to working with this committee to continue providing input as you evaluate this important tax incentive in a post-tax reform environment.”
USGBC agrees and has been working with BOMA and others in real estate and efficiency to extend and modernize the building tax deduction to ensure that building efficiency continues to be an engine of growth across the country.