JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Local governments in Alaska will be able to create and utilize property tax credits to increase energy efficiency and air quality under a bill passed by the Legislature.
The Senate approved the bill with a 17-1 vote on Thursday. The measure now heads to Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy for final approval.
“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,” bill sponsor and Democratic state Rep. Grier Hopkins said.
The bill won’t mandate or direct governments, but instead will offer a pathway for solutions to local problems, KTVF-TV reported. Boroughs and cities will be able to use energy-efficient construction to improve air quality, such as heating, filtration, and ventilation systems.
“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,” said Republican state Sen. Click Bishop, who sponsored the Senate companion legislation.
The bill was originally requested by the Fairbanks North Star Borough and was endorsed by multiple organizations including the Alaska Miners Association, Alaska Municipal League and Alaska State Home Building Association.