New construction projects that are within a half-mile of transit stations and exceeding national energy-efficiency standards would be eligible for a tax credit under legislation introduced today by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the senior member of the Banking Committee’s transit panel.
Menendez’s "green buildings" tax credit is aimed at spurring denser development in both rural and urban areas, particularly mixed-use properties that allow residents to walk between home, work, and other daily errands.
Construction projects claiming the 30 percent credit would have to meet several criteria, including the half-mile proximity to transit, the energy-efficiency minimums, and a requirement that at least 5 percent of any apartment properties be more affordable housing.
The credit could not be claimed until the year the development in question is completed, leaving the bill without an immediate cost to the Treasury.
The bill was immediately endorsed by the non-profit transit advocacy group Reconnecting America. The group’s president, John Robert Smith, said in a statement that Menendez’s plan "will help to meet this growing demand" for more transit-oriented, walkable development.