Councilmember Allan Domb speaking at council.

COUNCILMEMBER DOMB PROPOSES INDOOR VENTILATION TAX CREDIT TO HELP OFFICES SAFELY REOPEN

In Allan Domb, Council News, News by PHL Council

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Joins elected leaders to call on congress to enact a one-time dollar-for-dollar investment to help provide safe and healthy indoor spaces

PHILADELPHIA – In an effort to create safe indoor environments for employees and customers to return to commercial buildings, Councilmember Allan Domb (At Large) today calls on congressional leaders to enact a tax credit that would allow businesses to purchase and install new ventilation and air filtration technology systems in the workspace.

Councilmember Domb, along with several city councilmembers, Philadelphia state delegation officials and partnering organizations, sent a letter to local congressional leaders requesting a 2021 dollar-for-dollar tax credit that businesses could utilize to safely restart the economy.

“In a city of our size with a large daily commuter population and tourism industry, we must find ways to bring back demand for commercial spaces that house thousands of people who add to our broader local economy,” said Councilmember Domb. “Our density has become our principal liability during the Covid-19 crisis, putting us at risk for a slower and more troublesome economic recovery if we cannot create safer indoor options for our residents and businesses.”

According to the World Health Organization, the primary manner by which the Covid-19 virus spreads is by respiratory droplets among people who are in close contact with each other in settings such as indoor, crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected persons spend long periods of time. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) & Prevention indicates that ventilation techniques such as high-efficiency air fan and filtration systems, used in concert with ultraviolet air flow techniques can help reduce exposure and risks to contracting airborne illnesses such as the coronavirus.

“In order to implement many of these suggestions, our city’s buildings and businesses will have to invest in new infrastructure and technology which comes at a cost,” said Councilmember Domb. “We respectfully request that both chambers of Congress take up legislation that addresses these concerns in the upcoming legislative year by allowing a one-time dollar-for-dollar investment tax credit for those who make these types of infrastructure investments.”

“A one-time dollar-for-dollar investment tax credit for businesses and office buildings will

protect our communities and repair our economy,” said Senator Sharif Street (PA-3rd Senate District). “The families in our residential properties will need a similar investment to update the infrastructure of residences densely populated and poorly ventilated. A health crisis not seen in our time will continue to require bold action to mitigate and repair the damage. I am proud to join my colleagues and fellow stakeholders in advocating for this important policy.”

“As we approach nearly a year into this shutdown, it is imperative to focus on how we can return our hospitality businesses to normal so our economy and unemployment can recover,” said John Longstreet, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association. “This cannot come at an additional cost to businesses that have already been ravaged, which is why an investment from the federal government in these upgrades is an important solution.”

“Providing a safe environment for the tenants and occupants of our buildings is paramount,” according to Steve Resinski, Chair of the Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) of Philadelphia. “While a number of our members have already made significant and prudent investments to ensure that our buildings exceed CDC as well as state and local guidance, we recognize that there are some owners who have experienced a significant financial impact directly attributable to the pandemic. Having incentives in place to assist is critical to our larger reopening strategy.”

Partnering members calling for the tax investment credit also requested that congress ask the CDC to move quickly to establish national standards by which businesses can measure and rate indoor air filtration quality to determine risk and improvement goals for all building structures.

“We must continue to do everything we can to safely bring back the demand in Philadelphia,” said Councilmember Domb. “

Read the letter: CongressRequest_InvestmentTaxCredit_02_03_21.docx

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