Sims, Smith unveil plan to incentivize green updates, create jobs in manufacturing

Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims (D-182) and State Sen. Matt Smith (D-37) recently unveiled a plan to encourage and incentivize development and energy-efficient manufacturing in the state.

The Sustainable Development and Manufacturing Tax Credit Package introduced by the legislators would implement tax credits to encourage the business sector to invest in eco-friendly development and manufacturing to reduce energy consumption and boost job growth.

"It is clear, now more than ever, that we need innovative proposals to jumpstart our 21st century economy," Smith said. "While many of our neighboring states have thrived, Pennsylvania is still struggling to create jobs and attract new businesses. Now is the time to change course and reinvest in Pennsylvania's development and manufacturing sectors."

The package contains four House and Senate companion bills, each of which caps tax credits at $10 million. Residential and commercial tenants or owners have the opportunity to obtain a $35,000 tax credit for a new green building or to retrofit an existing building. A credit of up to 20 percent is available on capital operation and maintenance costs of Energy Star-rated products.

Additionally, manufacturers may earn up to a 20 percent tax credit on capital operation and maintenance costs associated with producing Energy Star-rated glass and window technologies. Another tax credit would offer a credit of up to 25 percent of construction and maintenance costs on green roofs.

"The built environment, which includes facilities such as factories, schools, hospitals and office centers, has a staggering impact on our nation's energy use," Kurt Twiford, the advocacy committee chairman of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the International Facility Management Association, said. "Energy usage can be significantly reduced by investing in high performance building technologies as well as the individuals who operate and maintain these systems."

Sims said energy efficiency improvements in manufacturing are "the key" to encouraging high-tech job growth and development across the state.

"Pennsylvania once led the pack in manufacturing and energy production and management," Sims said. "As Pennsylvania's small businesses and manufacturers strive to compete in a modern economy, the commonwealth must give them the tools necessary to prosper. This package of legislation will help to make Pennsylvania a leader once again."