Letter: Give incentives for responsible development | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Give incentives for responsible development

Give incentives for responsible development

As an Aspen native, young person and lover this place we call home, I have significant concerns about our rapidly changing climate and the continued inaction of federal policymakers to pass anything of substance to address these issues. While weather patterns are changing and carbon emissions remain high, this task has fallen upon the shoulders of state legislators and local community leaders to take action. So let us.

Colorado has long been a pioneer in renewable gas and energy efficiency, and we must continue and grow this trend, focusing our attention on common-sense provisions that will move us in the right direction.

That’s where Colorado House Bill 1236 comes into play. This measure would provide a tax credit to commercial and multiunit building owners and developers who invest in making their properties more energy-efficient. The bill would stimulate energy-efficient upgrades at the time of construction and/or renovation, thereby benefiting the builders and the building’s future inhabitants by saving them money on energy costs and reducing carbon emissions statewide. This bill includes a larger tax-credit cap for the construction and renovation of low-income apartment buildings and affordable-housing projects, further benefiting smaller developments that have experienced financial struggles with limited funds. It makes economic sense to provide incentives for instituting positive change by lowering the market barrier to make energy-efficient materials and technologies more accessible while creating jobs and growth in the clean-tech industry.

In a town where the construction never seems to stop, such an incentive would enable developers to build our homes, offices, schools and hospitals more efficiently while contributing to the greater effort of keeping snow on our mountains (among other things).

Colorado House Bill 1236 is a small step, but we must start moving. Voice your opinion by emailing state Rep. Millie Hamner at millie.hamner.house@state.co.us or http://milliehamner.com. Let’s hope our state legislators make the right call on this bill.

Austin Owen


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