The Nutter administration has just shot down a City Council proposal to tie the 10-year property tax abatement program to the green building standard LEED.
"The bottom line is we don’t want to change the current tax abatement program," Deputy Mayor Andrew Altman said in testimony at a council hearing today.
Altman stressed that the administration is very interested in doing more to encourage green building in Philadelphia, but - in light of the poor state of the development market - it is the wrong time to change the abatement program, which is a major inducement for builders.
"The abatement is one vehicle in Philadelphia that’s very clear, very certain. It’s not discretionary. You know what it is,. you put it into your pro forma ... Let’s not touch that."
The abatement program has always been controversial, but in light of Nutter's proposal to raise property taxes, it is receiving even more scrutiny. Back in December, the Inquirer had a long look at the fiscal impact of the abatement program on the city's budget.
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