Just one day after the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) called on Congress to extend the Commercial Building Tax Deduction, lawmakers passed the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (H.R. 6111), which contains a measure extending the deduction for one year.
ARI and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) sought an extension for the deduction, originally provided in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, because it was set to expire at the end of 2007. In a jointly sponsored Capitol Hill briefing held on December 7, ARI and ASHRAE explained to congressional staff that the 2-year lifespan of the deduction was too short a period for commercial builders to take advantage of it.
“We asked Congress to give these incentives time to work and they have given us another year, but this still falls short of the four-year extension we believe is needed,” says ARI General Counsel Stephen Yurek. “ARI and ASHRAE will continue to work in partnership to strengthen and extend energy-efficiency tax incentives during the next legislative session.”
For commercial buildings, the incentives provide a deduction up to $1.80 per sq.ft. for buildings designed to use 50 percent less energy than required by the model commercial building energy code (ASHRAE 90.1). Before the extension, the deduction applied to buildings placed in service between Jan. 1, 2006, through Dec. 31, 2007.