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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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City of Houston - Property Tax Abatement for Green Commercial Buildings   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/15/2014
Program Overview:
State: Texas
Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Not Specified, Daylighting, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: Commercial
Amount:LEED Basic “Certified” Level: 1.0%
LEED Silver Level: 2.5%
LEED Gold Level: 5.0%
LEED Platinum Level: 10%
Equipment Requirements:Must be LEED certified
Must be new construction
Expiration Date:03/26/2016
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Article IV § 44-131
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Expiration Date:
Ordinance No. 14-245

In September 2009, the City of Houston Tax Abatement Program was enacted (Ordinance No. 2009-858), establishing a partial tax abatement for U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified commercial buildings. Since its inception, the tax abatement has been renewed twice, most recently in 2014 (Ordinance No. 2014-245).

Abatement Amount

The Ordinance specifies the abatement as follows:

“If the owner of a new or refurbished commercial facility has registered with the U.S. Green Building Council seeking LEED Certification, then the Economic Development Division…may recommend approval by the City Council of a partial tax abatement for the incremental investment associated with obtaining such certification. The agreement shall be effective up to 10 years, at a percentage based upon the level of certification actually obtained after completion of construction or refurbishment:

  • Basic “Certified” Level: 1.0%
  • Silver Level: 2.5%
  • Gold Level: 5.0%
  • Platinum Level: 10%”

Minimum Investment Requirement

The LEED building tax abatement can be a stand-alone abatement or part of a standard economic development tax abatement. If used as a stand-alone tax abatement, the minimum investment requirement to be eligible for the partial tax abatement is:

  • $1 million for an investment in a commercial structure that achieves Platinum LEED Certification,
  • $2 million for an investment in a commercial structure that achieves Gold LEED Certification,
  • $4 million for an investment in a commercial structure that achieves Silver LEED Certification, and
  • $10 million for an investment in a commercial structure that achieves basic LEED Certification.

  Gwendolyn Tillotson
City of Houston
Finance Department: Economic Development Division
901 Bagby St., 4th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (832) 393-0937
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.