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Green Roof Tax Abatement
Photo Credit: DPR
Green Roof Tax Abatement

New York City building rooftops have more to contribute than great vantage points and an iconic skyline. As with cool roofs and solar panels, green roofs offer environmental and economic benefits. The information below provides details on the numerous advantages, as well as details on a tax abatement program to help interested building owners finance installations.

Benefits to New Yorkers
Green roofs-or vegetation—covered roof surfaces—benefit property owners in numerous ways. They can improve quality of life, thanks to noise reduction; increase property values; and beautify a property for owners and neighbors. While there are up-front installation costs, green roofs reduce energy and maintenance costs by protecting rooftops and building equipment from excessive sun exposure during warmer seasons and increase heat retention during cooler seasons.

Benefits to the Environment
Green roof vegetation also plays an important environmental role in New York City and aligns with numerous PlaNYC goals. It improves our water quality by filtering rainwater before it joins local rivers and water bodies. Green roofs also capture excess water during heavy storms—helping to prevent the City's sewer system from overflowing into rivers. Vegetation also improves our climate and air quality by filtering oxygen and absorbing greenhouse and noxious gases. Further benefits include providing crucial habitat and wildlife corridors for migratory species and reducing the Heat Island Effect, where urban environments tend to be warmer than surrounding areas because paved areas prevent cooling evaporation and dark surfaces, such as asphalt, absorb solar heat.

Tax Abatement
Recognizing these benefits, the City of New York and New York State passed legislation in 2008 to provide a one-year tax abatement, or tax relief, of $4.50 per square foot (up to $100,000 or the building's tax liability, whichever is less). Amended in 2013, the tax abatement is now available through March 15, 2018. For more information, read the legislation and Green Roof Tax Abatement.
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