Having already passed the Senate yesterday, NYC’s Green Roof Tax Abatement Bill (Senate Bill S5554B) was unanimously passed today (June 18 2019) on the Assembly floor up in Albany. Essentially the NYC Green Roof Property Tax Abatement is officially back…and better than ever!

(UPDATE, JULY 3, 2019:   S5554B has just been signed this morning by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The bill is now part of New York State Law and will go into effect on the date specified in the bill.)

NYC green roof tax abatement

How has the abatement been improved?

It’s now going to be a two-tiered system.  The citywide $5.23 per square foot abatement program has been re-instated (effective June 30 2019). Additionally, an enhanced abatement of $15.00 per square foot will also be offered for green roofs built on properties located within specifically designated New York City community districts.  Currently, this enhanced abatement will only be available for green roof systems with a growing media layer at least 4″ in depth but Urbanstrong has it on good word this limitation may be soon lifted.

Who will be eligible for this abatement?

The designated community areas eligible for the enhanced abatement will likely be selected by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.  Priority will be given to communities located in the combined sewage overflow tributary areas (see NYC Sewershed Reference Map).  Particular emphasis will be placed those parts of the city identified as lacking green space. NYC combined sewer mapEligibility will be awarded on a rolling priority basis for three-year periods allowing the City, non-profits and green roof companies like Urbanstrong to “conduct much more focused outreach to potentially interested building owners and spur development of a critical mass of green roofs in a given community.”

How did this come to be?

This bill was sponsored by John Liu, a New York State Senator representing a broad area of northeast Queens. He is chairperson of the Senate’s committee on NYC Education. He also serves on the committees of Finance, Education, Transportation and others.  At the city level, this bill had much support from Council members Rafael Espinal, Jr, Costa Constantinides and many others.

Dustin Partridge is an ecologist, Chair of the New York City Green Roof Researchers Alliance, and the Green Roof Program Manager for the New York City Audubon, a grassroots community that works for the protection of wild birds and habitat. He collected industry data from local green roof firms like Urbanstrong to help inform and persuade policy makers.  This man is an animal. He did a lot of heavy lifting to get this bill passed with language that can actually be impactful. And he did so all in name of environmental conservation and the protection of wildlife.  He deserves our thanks.

In January of this year, Urbanstrong’s Alan Burchell provided testimony at New York City Hall. He presented in support of three pieces of green building legislation: the green roof tax abatement program update, the mandate for green roofs on some City buildings, and special financing in NYC or clean energy retrofits like green roofs and rooftop solar. alan burchell testifying before NYC council in support of green roof billTogether with other pieces of legislation, these bills made up the package known as the Climate Mobilization Act. Or, The Green New Deal.

So, what now?

Are you now interested in discussing a potential green roof for your building?  Get in touch with us here, drop us an email at info@urbanstrong.com, or call us at 914.893.2782 to start the discussion today.  We’re happy to help.