Expands and extends the duration of the green roof real property tax abatement in a city having a population of one million or more.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to a green roof tax abatement for certain properties in a city of one million or more persons
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill extends and modifies the real property tax abatement currently provided by the city of New York (the "City") for the installation of green roofs within the City.
Section 1 of the bill amends the definition of the term "green roof' to allow for the inclusion of a controlled flow roof drain, and to add native and agricultural plant species to the list of "live plants" that can be used to meet the requirement that 80% of the vegetation layer of a green roof must be covered by live plants.
Section 2 of the bill provides that beginning with tax years (i.e., City fiscal years) commencing on or after July 1, 2014 and ending on or before June 30, 2019, the tax abatement shall be $5.23 per square foot of a green roof (an increase from $4.50 per square foot of a green roof), provided that the amount of the abatement does not exceed the lesser of $200,000 (an increase from $100,000) or the tax liability of the eligible building in the tax year in which the abatement is taken. This section also establishes an overall cap on the amount that would be spent in any one year on the abatement program ($750,000 in City fiscal year 2015 and $1,000,000 in City fiscal years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). The aggregate amount of abatements would be allocated by the New York City Department of Finance among eligible applicants on a pro rata basis.
Section 3 of the bill extends the application deadline from March 15, 2013 to March 15, 2018.
Section 4 of the bill provides that the bill takes effect immediately.
REASONS FOR SUPPORT: The green roof tax abatement incentive is part of a larger comprehensive green infrastructure program in the City to capture the first inch of rainfall on 10% of the impervious areas in combined sewer watersheds through detention or infiltration techniques. However, due to the multiple sustainability benefits associated with green roofs, the green roof tax abatement is applicable citywide in both combined and separate storm sewer areas.
Green roofs provide considerable benefits to New York City, but the expense of installation remains prohibitive to building and homeowners. This proposal would continue, with some modifications, the previous abatement, which was intended to offset some of the costs associated with green roof installation. The property tax abatement program would be extended for five years. As part of this extension, the definition of a green roof would be amended to authorize the use of native and/or agricultural plant species. Over the past five years, interest in rooftop farms (i.e., green roofs with native and/or agricultural plant species) has increased significantly in New York City. In addition to creating areas for stormwater retention, rooftop farms have the added benefit of providing affordable and local produce to New York City residents, another goal of Mayor Bloomberg's P1aNYC. To address green roofs with a growth medium of less than three inches
(i.e., more typical green roofs without agricultural plant species), the option of a controlled flow roof drain would be included as an additional water holding layer, consistent with DEP's Stormwater Performance Standard and Guidelines for the Design and Construction of Stormwater Management Systems. Controlled flow roof drain systems provide temporary ponding on a rooftop surface and slowly release the ponded water through roof drains.
In addition to the above modifications to the definition of a green roof, a nominal increase in the value of the abatement would be implemented, from $4.50 per square foot of green roof to $5.23 per square foot of green roof. This adjusted value would reflect 2012 Producer Price Index market cost for commercial roof contractors and thus would continue to incentivize green roofs by offsetting construction costs by roughly the same value as the original tax abatement. Given that rooftop farms tend to be larger than typical green roofs (generally around one acre in size), the abatement value cap would also be increased.
Accordingly, the Mayor urges the earliest possible favorable consideration of this proposal by the Legislature.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4802 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 24, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. LANZA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities AN ACT to amend the real property tax law, in relation to a green roof tax abatement for certain properties in a city of one million or more persons THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 10 of section 499-aaa of the real property tax law, as added by chapter 461 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows: 10. "Green roof" shall mean an addition to a roof of an eligible building that covers at least fifty percent of such building's eligible rooftop space and includes (a) a weatherproof and waterproof roofing membrane layer that complies with local construction and fire codes, (b) a root barrier layer, (c) an insulation layer that complies with the Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York state and local construction and fire codes, (d) a drainage layer that complies with local construction and fire codes and is designed so the drains can be inspected and cleaned, (e) a growth medium, including natural or simu- lated soil, with a depth of at least two inches, (f) if the depth of the growth medium is less than three inches, an independent water holding layer that is designed to prevent the rapid drying of the growth medium, such as a non-woven fabric, pad or foam mat OR CONTROLLED FLOW ROOF DRAIN, unless the green roof is certified not to need regular irrigation to maintain live plants, and (g) a vegetation layer, at least eighty percent of which must be covered by live plants such as (I) sedum or equally drought resistant and hardy plant species, (II) NATIVE PLANT SPECIES, AND/OR (III) AGRICULTURAL PLANT SPECIES. S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 499-bbb of the real property tax law, as added by chapter 461 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows:EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10550-01-3 S. 4802 2
1. (A) The amount of such tax abatement FOR ANY TAX YEAR COMMENCING ON OR AFTER JULY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND NINE AND ENDING ON OR BEFORE JUNE THIRTIETH, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN shall be four dollars and fifty cents per square foot of a green roof pursuant to an approved application for tax abatement; provided, however, that the amount of such tax abatement shall not exceed the lesser of
[(a)](I) one hundred thousand dollars or [(b)](II) the tax liability for the eligible building in the tax year in which the tax abatement is taken. (B) THE AMOUNT OF SUCH TAX ABATEMENT FOR ANY TAX YEAR COMMENCING ON OR AFTER JULY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN AND ENDING ON OR BEFORE JUNE THIRTIETH, TWO THOUSAND NINETEEN, SHALL BE FIVE DOLLARS AND TWENTY-THREE CENTS PER SQUARE FOOT OF A GREEN ROOF PURSUANT TO AN APPROVED APPLICA- TION FOR TAX ABATEMENT; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE AMOUNT OF SUCH TAX ABATEMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE LESSER OF (I) TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS OR (II) THE TAX LIABILITY FOR THE ELIGIBLE BUILDING IN THE TAX YEAR IN WHICH THE TAX ABATEMENT IS TAKEN. (C) NOTWITHSTANDING PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF TAX ABATEMENTS ALLOWED UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION FOR THE TAX YEAR COMMENCING JULY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN AND ENDING JUNE THIRTIETH TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN SHALL BE A MAXIMUM OF SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS, AND THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF TAX ABATEMENTS ALLOWED UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION FOR ANY TAX YEAR COMMENCING ON OR AFTER JULY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN AND ENDING ON OR BEFORE JUNE THIRTIETH, TWO THOUSAND NINETEEN SHALL BE A MAXIMUM OF ONE MILLION DOLLARS. NO TAX ABATEMENTS SHALL BE ALLOWED UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION FOR ANY TAX YEAR COMMENCING ON OR AFTER JULY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND NINETEEN. SUCH AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF TAX ABATEMENTS SHALL BE ALLOCATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE ON A PRO RATA BASIS AMONG APPLICANTS WHOSE APPLICATIONS HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY A DESIG- NATED AGENCY. IF SUCH ALLOCATION IS NOT MADE PRIOR TO THE DATE THAT THE REAL PROPERTY TAX BILL, STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT OR OTHER SIMILAR BILL OR STATEMENT IS PREPARED, THEN THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE SHALL, AS NECES- SARY, AFTER SUCH ALLOCATION IS MADE, SUBMIT AN AMENDED REAL PROPERTY TAX BILL, STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT OR OTHER SIMILAR BILL OR STATEMENT TO ANY APPLICANT WHOSE ABATEMENT MUST BE ADJUSTED TO REFLECT SUCH ALLOCATION. NOTHING IN THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE DEEMED TO AFFECT THE OBLIGATION OF ANY TAXPAYER UNDER APPLICABLE LAW WITH RESPECT TO THE PAYMENT OF ANY INSTALLMENT OF REAL PROPERTY TAX FOR THE FISCAL YEAR AS TO WHICH SUCH ALLOCATION IS MADE, WHICH WAS DUE AND PAYABLE PRIOR TO THE DATE SUCH AMENDED REAL PROPERTY TAX BILLS ARE SENT, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE SHALL BE AUTHORIZED TO DETERMINE THE DATE ON WHICH AMENDED BILLS ARE TO BE SENT AND THE INSTALLMENTS OF REAL PROPERTY TAX WHICH ARE TO BE REFLECTED THEREIN. S 3. Subdivision 1 of section 499-ccc of the real property tax law, as added by chapter 461 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows: 1. To obtain a tax abatement pursuant to this title, an applicant must file an application for tax abatement, which may be filed on or after January first, two thousand nine, and on or before March fifteenth, two thousand [thirteen]EIGHTEEN. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.