A recent article from Law360 warns that New York state businesses who are overly aggressive in claiming new tax breaks for anti-global warming technologies may find themselves the subject of investigation under the state’s powerful false claims law.
Last summer, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a number of tax breaks into law which incentivize green building and solar installation initiatives to promote energy efficiency and conservation while stimulating economic development. One tax incentive in particular could boost the use of local property tax exemptions for businesses that achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for green buildings. Such exemptions, however, run the risk of spurring scams from businesses overanxious to cash in on tax breaks for green initiatives.
The New York state false claims law is unique because it allows the New York state attorney general to investigate tax claims from whistleblowers. In the face of what New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman characterized as the state’s "False Claims Act on steroids," while still a state senator, businesses are well advised to seek legal counsel in applying for green incentives to help ensure their regulatory compliance throughout the process.
If you have any questions about the application process for New York state’s green tax incentives or other related legal issues, please contact William M. Flynn, leader of the Energy Industry Team, at (518) 701-2711 / firstname.lastname@example.org, John T. McManus at (518) 701-2734 / email@example.com, or the Harris Beach attorney with whom you usually work.
This alert does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.
Harris Beach has offices throughout New York state including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Uniondale, White Plains and Yonkers, as well as Newark, New Jersey and New Haven, Connecticut.