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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.jpgSen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) (Photo: Paterson Online)

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.

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