This Bush bailout fiasco which in many ways is a total con actually has at least one good side: it earmarks $17 Billion is tax incentives for green building. A tax incentive is no use if you aren’t making enough money to actually pay taxes of course, so for many people a tax incentive is a useless thing.

But for those who do need more tax write offs these incentives are twofold benefits. They help you pay less taxes and they allow you to get better buildings.

Below is the announcement from the USGBC Advocacy & Policy Update:

President Signs into Law Financial Rescue Package with Long-Awaited Extensions of Vital Energy Tax Incentives

Following a tense week of congressional negotiations and votes, the President signed into law on Friday a $700 billion financial rescue bill that also includes $17 billion in energy tax incentives, including extensions of several provisions that have already expired or were set to expire at year’s end. The energy tax package followed a long and winding road to enactment, having been jettisoned from the energy law in December and having become the subject of an ongoing debate in the House and Senate about whether and how to specify a funding source for the provisions. USGBC monitored and pressed for extensions of these vital tax incentives for more than a year, and celebrates their passage as an essential victory that will ensure continued investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

Among other energy provisions, the new law contains several tax incentives that promise to advance greener, more energy-efficient buildings, including:

* a 1-year extension of the tax credit for the production of energy from wind, and a two-year extension of the credit for energy production from other renewable sources, such as geothermal;
* an 8-year extension of the tax credits for investment in commercial and residential solar projects, including the removal of the $2,000 cap on investments in residential solar electric installations, and the addition of small wind energy and geothermal heat pump projects as qualifying installations for tax credits;
* a 5-year extension of the tax deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings;
* a 1-year extension of the tax credit for the construction of new energy-efficient homes;
* a 1-year extension of the tax credit for qualified energy-efficiency upgrades to existing homes;
* an extension through 2010 of the tax credit for the manufacture of energy-efficient appliances;
* and a 3-year extension of the authority for state and localities to issue tax-exempt bonds for green building and sustainable design projects.

For a summary of the tax provisions in the new law, click here.

» For the full text of the law, click here.