Tax break for green buildings

by FM Media
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The Federal Government has announced it will conduct further consultations around the Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program to deliver the best outcomes for industry.

The Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program is being developed to support businesses that invest in eligible assets or capital works to improve the energy efficiency of an existing building.
Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten says the Government has agreed to extend the time for consultation to consider stakeholder proposals on the most effective way to implement the program.
In order to facilitate the further consultations with industry, the program will now come into effect on 1 July, 2012.
The Government will continue to consult widely to ensure the scheme provides the right incentives for building owners to implement energy efficient retrofits.
“Further input from industry stakeholders will help make the Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program a viable and successful initiative that delivers real returns for our environment,” Mr Shorten says.
“We understand that during initial consultations, some sectors of the industry were concerned about how the scheme would operate.
“That’s why we will shortly establish a high-level roundtable, chaired by an independent industry expert, to discuss key design elements of the scheme.
“This will support ongoing discussions with industry leaders to consider how we can maximise the benefits of the program, within the current funding envelope.”
The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Mark Dreyfus says that “While consultation on the scheme will be extended by one year, it will still provide $1 billion in support to the property industry over eight years to improve the energy efficiency of older, less efficient buildings around the country.”

MAIN ISSUES RAISED
Issues raised include whether the benefit should be provided as a bonus deduction (as proposed) or as a refundable tax credit, whether the program should support refits for buildings that are already rated above 2 Stars on the NABERS rating system, and whether the program should provide more tailored support for the refit of hotels.
Exposure draft legislation will be released later this year. The Government will seek to introduce the legislative package towards the end of the year so that businesses have time to prepare.
“The Government is committed to getting the design of this $1 billion scheme right and we take the views of industry very seriously,” Mr Dreyfus says.

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