NYC Green Rooftops to Reap Tax Credits

Building owners in New York City who install green rooftops will now receive a significant tax credit under a bill that passed the state legislature on June 25.

Owners who install green rooftops on at least 50 percent of available rooftop space can apply for a one-year property tax credit of up to $100,000. The credit would be equal to $4.50 per square-foot of roof area that is planted with vegetation, or approximately 25 percent of the typical costs associated with the materials, labor, installation, and design of the green roof.

The legislation was championed by the Storm Water Infrastructure Matters Coalition, comprised of more than 50 city, state, and national organizations dedicated to ensuring fishable and swimmable waters around New York through natural, sustainable stormwater management practices.

"This tax abatement will act as an economic stimulus by creating living wage green-collar jobs that are pathways out of poverty," said Rob Crauderueff, director of Sustainable Policy at Sustainable South Bronx and chair of the Storm Water Infrastructure Matters policy committee.

"Green rooftops can save New York City residents more than $5 million in energy cooling costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce overflows of raw sewage by easing pressure on the city's overburdened sewer system -- which will help to achieve swimmable and fishable waterways in neighborhoods throughout New York City," said Larry Levine, attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council's.

Green roofs also address New York's environmental justice problems, explained Kate Zidar, senior environmental planner of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice. "Green roofs reduce costly environmental burdens, such as poor air quality and sewage treatment processing, in communities throughout New York City, especially environmental justice communities that host more than their share of environmental burdens."