Around Southampton Town Hall: Green Tax Breaks Eyed By Board

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Southampton Town is considering offering tax breaks for homeowners who employ energy efficient and environmentally sensitive materials and construction practices in improvements to their homes.

The Town Board this week proposed amending the town’s tax code to allow for an exemption from property taxes for any increase in property value from improvements that were done in accordance with construction standards certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The exemptions would be eligible for between seven and 10 years, depending on the extent to which the work uses green building standards.

The Green Building Council rates energy efficient practices and materials according to standards created under the Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification.

“LEED is a holistic approach to everything from … energy usage [to] heating and cooling, materials use, the sustainability of the lumber, indoor air quality, site planning,” said Frank Dalene, owner of the construction company Telemark and co-founder of the Hamptons Green Alliance. “They use a point system that determines what your rating is.”

The tax exemption was made possible by state legislation that allows towns to offer tax incentives to promote energy efficient and environmentally sensitive building practices. Mr. Thiele explained that the law only allows for the exemption to be applied to the increase in market value of an improvement. If a house is appraised at $1 million and after the improvements it is appraised at $1.2 million, only the additional $200,000 would be eligible for the exemption.

The board will hold a public hearing on the proposed tax exemption on June 25.

Town To Seek BidsThe town and the Sagaponack and Bridgehampton beach erosion control districts will put out the first bids for work on the planned reconstruction of six miles of beach in Water Mill, Bridgehampton and Sagaponack next week. The specifications packets for the work will be available to potential bidders at Town Hall on June 20.

The project, anticipated to cost some $25 million, will pump 2.5 million tons of sand from the sea floor a mile offshore using giant floating dredges and deposit it along the shoreline, replacing more than a decade’s worth of erosion and the sand lost during Superstorm Sandy and the subsequent storms that struck the area over the winter.

The project will be funded with town bonds, repaid through a special tax on the oceanfront property owners within the project’s reach, which residents approved in a referendum in February.

The project’s planners expect to be able to begin work on the dredging in September.

Lottery Winner RetiresThe longtime Town Hall secretary who won $1 million in the PowerBall lottery last month will retire from her town position.

The Town Board accepted the retirement of Patricia Turchiano on Tuesday afternoon and wished the 62-year-old well.

Ms. Turchiano had worked as a clerk typist in the Department of Land Management since 2003. She lives in Manorville and had purchased her winning ticket at Southampton Stationery, just up the street from Town Hall. Ms. Turchiano’s base salary for this year is $43,995.

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