The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) have called on Congress to support increasing the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction from $1.80 per square foot to $3 per square foot in order to help stimulate job creation. More than 50 organizations in the construction and environmental arenas have co-signed a letter to members of Congress.
The AIA and NEMA advocated for the tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for the design and installation of qualified energy efficient building systems in new building construction or in retrofitting existing buildings in 2005 – the deduction was enacted that year. However, the economic crisis has reduced the amount of building design, construction, and renovations across the country, despite success in using the deduction to build and retrofit energy efficient buildings. Additionally, increased capital costs often dissuade owners from installing these systems.
However, according to Christine McEntee, executive vice president and CEO for AIA, “By increasing the deduction to $3 per square foot, Congress could immediately stimulate building design, construction, and renovation across the country, spurring job creation in every state and region, while enhancing our energy independence and improving our nation’s infrastructure for the 21st century.”
Additionally, NEMA president and CEO, Evan R. Gaddis, stated that the increase would provide a valuable job-stimulating incentive to retrofit and renovate existing commercial buildings.
“This tax incentive has a proven record of success in supporting thousands of construction, electrical, design, contractor, and manufacturing jobs prior to the recession,” says Gaddis. “An increase is needed to address tight capital and other financing issues facing building owners. This is the type of measure that fits with the outlines of President Obama’s jobs stimulus announcement on December 8, 2009.”