NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A7058
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
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 gem 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 agri-
cultural 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 PlaNYC. 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 imple-
mented, 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 consider-
ation of this proposal by the Legislature.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
April 30, 2013
Introduced by M. of A. ROSA -- read once and referred to the Committee
on Real Property Taxation
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
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subdivision 10 of section 499-aaa of the real property tax
2 law, as added by chapter 461 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as
4 10. "Green roof" shall mean an addition to a roof of an eligible
5 building that covers at least fifty percent of such building's eligible
6 rooftop space and includes (a) a weatherproof and waterproof roofing
7 membrane layer that complies with local construction and fire codes, (b)
8 a root barrier layer, (c) an insulation layer that complies with the
9 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York state and local
10 construction and fire codes, (d) a drainage layer that complies with
11 local construction and fire codes and is designed so the drains can be
12 inspected and cleaned, (e) a growth medium, including natural or simu-
13 lated soil, with a depth of at least two inches, (f) if the depth of the
14 growth medium is less than three inches, an independent water holding
15 layer that is designed to prevent the rapid drying of the growth medium,
16 such as a non-woven fabric, pad or foam mat or controlled flow roof
17 drain, unless the green roof is certified not to need regular irrigation
18 to maintain live plants, and (g) a vegetation layer, at least eighty
19 percent of which must be covered by live plants such as (i) sedum or
20 equally drought resistant and hardy plant species, (ii) native plant
21 species, and/or (iii) agricultural plant species.
22 § 2. Subdivision 1 of section 499-bbb of the real property tax law, as
23 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.
A. 7058 2
1 1. (a) The amount of such tax abatement for any tax year commencing on
2 or after July first, two thousand nine and ending on or before June
3 thirtieth, two thousand fourteen shall be four dollars and fifty cents
4 per square foot of a green roof pursuant to an approved application for
5 tax abatement; provided, however, that the amount of such tax abatement
6 shall not exceed the lesser of [(a)] (i) one hundred thousand dollars or
7 [(b)] (ii) the tax liability for the eligible building in the tax year
8 in which the tax abatement is taken.
9 (b) The amount of such tax abatement for any tax year commencing on or
10 after July first, two thousand fourteen and ending on or before June
11 thirtieth, two thousand nineteen, shall be five dollars and twenty-three
12 cents per square foot of a green roof pursuant to an approved applica-
13 tion for tax abatement; provided, however, that the amount of such tax
14 abatement shall not exceed the lesser of (i) two hundred thousand
15 dollars or (ii) the tax liability for the eligible building in the tax
16 year in which the tax abatement is taken.
17 (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b) of this subdivision, the aggregate
18 amount of tax abatements allowed under this subdivision for the tax year
19 commencing July first, two thousand fourteen and ending June thirtieth
20 two thousand fifteen shall be a maximum of seven hundred fifty thousand
21 dollars, and the aggregate amount of tax abatements allowed under this
22 subdivision for any tax year commencing on or after July first, two
23 thousand fifteen and ending on or before June thirtieth, two thousand
24 nineteen shall be a maximum of one million dollars. No tax abatements
25 shall be allowed under this subdivision for any tax year commencing on
26 or after July first, two thousand nineteen. Such aggregate amount of tax
27 abatements shall be allocated by the department of finance on a pro rata
28 basis among applicants whose applications have been approved by a desig-
29 nated agency. If such allocation is not made prior to the date that the
30 real property tax bill, statement of account or other similar bill or
31 statement is prepared, then the department of finance shall, as neces-
32 sary, after such allocation is made, submit an amended real property tax
33 bill, statement of account or other similar bill or statement to any
34 applicant whose abatement must be adjusted to reflect such allocation.
35 Nothing in this paragraph shall be deemed to affect the obligation of
36 any taxpayer under applicable law with respect to the payment of any
37 installment of real property tax for the fiscal year as to which such
38 allocation is made, which was due and payable prior to the date such
39 amended real property tax bills are sent, and the department of finance
40 shall be authorized to determine the date on which amended bills are to
41 be sent and the installments of real property tax which are to be
42 reflected therein.
43 § 3. Subdivision 1 of section 499-ccc of the real property tax law, as
44 added by chapter 461 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows:
45 1. To obtain a tax abatement pursuant to this title, an applicant must
46 file an application for tax abatement, which may be filed on or after
47 January first, two thousand nine, and on or before March fifteenth, two
48 thousand [thirteen] eighteen.
49 § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.