Launch of the Guide for Local Tax Reduction on Green Buildings

August 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Posted in Events, General | Leave a comment
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Following the increased interest of the public authorities in Bucharest and throughout the country in the sustainable development of the built environment, on Monday, the 10th of June, Romania Green Building Council and the Association of Municipalities of Romania launched the Guide for local tax reduction on green buildings during the conference on financial incentives for the promotion of green constructions with a high energetic performance.  

The document represents a working instrument for the local public authorities, meant to support the decision making process in order to attract investments for the construction of green buildings and to reward the investors’ efforts through tax reduction on these buildings.

The launch of the guide was accompanied by presentations that traced the context of the legislative proposal for tax reduction on green buildings.  Mr. Steven Borncamp, president of the Romanian Green Building Council, launched the presentation series through a detailing of the benefits that the green buildings bring to both the Romanian community and to the development of the construction industry’s capacities. Mr. Borncamp depicted the necessity and the commitment required from the private investors to provide significant investments for the development of sustainable new buildings or renovation projects in exchange for the benefit of tax reduction.  He also highlighted several success cases, including the Cluj-Napoca Municipality, the first town to apply the tax reduction on buildings in order to reward energy efficiency and green performance. In this respect, the vice- mayor of Bucharest, Mr. Marcel Nicolaescu, confirmed the orientation of the capital city towards an environmentally friendly urban development.

Luiza Manolea presented the legislation that stands at the basis of the decision of tax reduction on green buildings, a chance with which she highlighted the characteristics and principles on which this kind of tax incentives are rewarded, ensuring a high adaptability to the specificities of each community and willing to establish a balance between the interest of the community and that of the building owners. In this way, the highest investment efforts and the achievement of the highest sustainability requirements are rewarded through tax reductions, for a longer period up to four years,  while the tax reductions don’t exceed a cumulative of 80% of the tax due.  Also, she mentioned that the proposed fiscal measure for the promotion of green building is different from other fiscal or financial incentives, as: it includes all types of buildings, not only the residential ones, the investment comes from the owner, the initiative is private, the energetic efficiency requirements are higher and are accompanied by sustainability criteria, whose achievement is confirmed by final certifications internationally recognised.

Bringing a new perspective to the subject, this time the view of the energetic auditor, Mr. Eugen Goldhammer sent out a clear message- You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Thus, he highlighted the benefits of an energetic audit, both from the point of view of the authorities and that of the companies, given that it represents a major instrument within the implementation process and further on in the annual monitoring of the environmental management  systems, according to ISO 14001 and EMAS, and that it has an important part in reaching the established objectives through the annual and multi- annual strategies  of increasing the energetic efficiency and of reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide, and not the least, it reduces costs with maintenance of the buildings.

Further on, Alinda Dudu’s presentation concentrated on the introduction of the main international certifications in sustainability. She discussed the fact that the international certification standards for green buildings, of which LEED and BREEAM are the best known, represent a viable method of evaluating the performance in sustainability of a building. These systems are voluntary, neutrals- managed by third parties and can be applied at different stages of the building’s life, as well as to a variety of architectonic programs in Romania.

In addition to this, the subject of creating a package of tax incentives, neutrals from the point of view of the expenses, has been brought to discussion, in order to encourage the development of constructions, renovations and the management of environmentally friendly buildings, while bringing significant value to the local and regional economy. Mr. John Lyins discussed this subject, adding that from the point of view of the employees, they can only gain from the low rate of absenteeism and of illness, as well as from the increase of efficiency at the workplace.

The interest shown by the public authorities and their openness towards the improvement of community life encourage and at the same time bind us to continue the initiative to build or transform existing buildings into sustainable constructions. We wish that through this practical Guide, also meant to be a model of decision making for the local counsel, we can contribute to the implementation of as many instruments for the stimulation of green building constructions. 

The guide for local tax reduction on green buildings, as well as the legislation pack that provided the basis to its realization can be accessed on the homepage of the Romania Green Building Council.

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