Alaska Legislature passes Energy Efficiency and Air Quality Tax Credit Act

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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTVF) A bill enabling local governments across the state to create and utilize property tax credits to increase efficiency and local air quality has passed the Legislature.

House Bill 232 was introduced by Rep. Grier Hopkins (D-Fairbanks) and was approved by the Senate on Thursday with a 17-1 vote. Previously, the proposal passed the House of Representatives 31-4, so the measure now heads to the governor for final approval.

“Local businesses will be key to restarting our economy in the coming months,” Representative Hopkins said. “This bill will allow local governments, businesses, and homeowners to maximize local dollars circulating in local economies. Many governments are proactively seeking ways to lower energy consumption. This bill gives them another option and will help stimulate local economies.”

“We’ll know our economy is on the rebound when local contractors can get to work again,” added Sen. Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks), who sponsored the Senate companion legislation. “I envision cities and boroughs working with builders and banks to get these tax credits set up so when we start building, the money will stay local and put Alaskans to work.”

HB 232 does not mandate or direct local governments in any way and instead offers a pathway for local solutions to local problems. Cities and boroughs can choose to incentivize energy-efficient construction or remodeling, as well as heating, filtration, and ventilation systems which improve local air quality.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough initially requested the bill, which was also endorsed by the Alaska Miners Association, Alaska Municipal League, Alaska State Homebuilders Association, Aurora Energy, and Cold Climate Housing Research Center.