Local Option - Real Property Tax Exemption for Green Buildings

November 07, 2023


In July 2012 New York enacted legislation allowing municipal corporations to exempt green buildings from real property taxes. It is important to note that this law allows but does not require local governments to extend favorable property tax treatment to green buildings. In order for the exemption to apply, the taxing jurisdiction must first adopt this exemption.

In order to qualify for an exemption, the new construction or improvement (does not include routine maintenance or repairs) must commence on or after January 1, 2013; be valued in excess of $10,000; and projects must meet the LEED, Green Globes, American National Standards Institute, or substantially equivalent green building certification standards. Although the law references allowable green building rating systems/certifications other than LEED, the incentive amounts are described in relation to LEED certification levels. The amount of the exemption permitted varies by year and by the certification level achieved. Although not specifically identified in the law, it appears that the "year" refers to the property tax year in which the exemption is first claimed and subsequent years thereafter. The allowable exemption levels, stated in terms of the percentage of total taxes owed, are as follows:

Year LEED Certified/Silver LEED Gold LEED Platinum
1 100% 100% 100%
2 100% 100% 100%
3 100% 100% 100%
4 80% 100% 100%
5 60% 80% 100%
6 40% 60% 100%
7 20% 40% 80%
8 0% 20% 60%
9 0% 0% 40%
10 0% 0% 20%

Projects must actually achieve certification in order to be eligible for an exemption, and the exemption must be approved by the local assessor prior to taking effect.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: New York
Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive
Web Site: https://www.tax.ny.gov/research/property/assess/manuals/vol4/pt2/sec4_06/sec470.htm
Administrator: Administered locally
Start Date: (earliest date for commencement of construction)
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar - Passive
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Biomass
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Daylighting
  • Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
  • Hydroelectric (Small)
  • Anaerobic Digestion
Incentive Amount: Upon local adoption, 20% - 100% exemption from real property taxes on the increase in value of the real property attributable to the construction/reconstruction; varies by year and certification level
Equipment Requirements: Projects must meet the LEED, Green Globes, American National Standards Institute, or substantially equivalent green building certification standards; construction value must exceed $10,000


Name: Real Property Tax Law § 470
Date Enacted: 07/18/2012
Effective Date: 07/18/2012


Name: Property Tax
Organization: NY State Department of Taxation and Finance
Address: Harriman Campus Road
Albany NY 12227
Phone: (518) 591-5232
Email: real.property@tax.ny.gov

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.