Tax Incentive Promotes Green Rooftops

Residential and commercial buildings alike are beginning to take advantage of unused rooftop space to attract tenants with outdoor green space, but apparently it’s not happening fast enough for the City. After the tax perk for installing green roofs went largely unused–not a single landlord claimed an abatement in 2018 and only seven owners claimed one over the past decade–elected officials have decided to up the ante.

The original abatement specified that owners could receive a tax credit of $5.23 per square foot up to $200,000, provided the roof was at least 80% green. The new law sweetens the deal, giving landlords an abatement of up to $15 per square foot in certain communities–specifically those prone to sewage overflow. Green roofs help insulate buildings, reduce energy costs, and absorb rainfall.

Presently, only about 750 of the City’s 1 million buildings have green roofs, and most of those are in Manhattan. Yet rooftops represent almost 62 square miles of City space. Officials are hoping that the increased tax incentives will accelerate the adoption of green roofs across the City.

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