‘Change property tax to green building tax’

A coalition of Swedish real estate and environmental organizations has suggested using property taxes as a way to promote investment in measures to conserve energy.

The proposal comes from the Swedish society for Nature Conservancy (SSNC), the HSB housing cooperative, and Riksbyggen an association of cooperative housing organizations and builders.

There is huge potential for saving energy in the housing sector and property taxes should be formulated to encourage the implementation of energy-savings measures, write Svante Axelsson, secretary general of SSNC, Sten-Åke Karlsson, head of Riksbyggen, and Kent-Olof Stigh, chair of HSB Federation, in a debate article published in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper on Thursday.

“We want to have a tax which makes it profitable for property owners to use energy more effectively, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and reduce overall stress on the climate. Those who pay taxes can thus affect how much they themselves pay by investing in a better environment,” write the three.

The organizations recently sponsored an interview survey of 1,000 people which showed that nearly eight of ten believe that property owners would invest in energy-savings measures if it helped reduce property taxes.

Properties in Sweden