De-Taxing Buildings to Make Them Efficient by The Geonomists
Please find below the
Comments from Judge 1:
The proposal is an interesting approach and tax structure is a powerful tool, but tax code has many barriers that may need to be overcome.
Comments from Judge 2:
The proposal listed a number of ideas for tax reform and speculated as to why those reforms might spur more energy efficiency improvements to buildings. However, the proposal is missing tangible steps that would be taken to spur this reform, and the cause/effect relationship between shifting the tax to the land and driving efficiency improvements is not well supported. I would like to see some description of what actions would be taken should this idea be supported by the CoLab project(s).
Novelty: It is interesting to propose tax reform as a major driver of building energy efficiency improvements and carbon emissions reductions. Basing property taxes on land as opposed to the improvements is not novel, but some of the ideas for creating public funds to support efficiency retrofits are imaginative.
Feasibility: It is difficult to evaluate feasibility because no specific actions are proposed, only ideas for constructs. I would like to see proposed approaches for supporting communities that wish to pursue these ideas or proposed specific research topics that would help inform public officials of the potential benefits of these ideas.
Impact: I do not believe the proposal established a compelling cause/effect relationship between the property tax basis and the lower carbon emissions intensity. For example, it seems equally possible that people might build much larger houses with higher energy and carbon intensities if property taxes are shifted to the land. It seems that the impact would vary widely based on the existing densities and zoning regulations of the area. The case was made for how the assessment of property taxes based on the improvements can be a deterrent to investing in efficiency retrofits. However, it is not clear that simply shifting the tax basis would stimulate the efficiency improvements.
Presentation: Important elements of the proposal, such as the actions and costs are not covered. I would like to see further development of what is needed to drive further consideration of these ideas by more communities.
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