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Real Property Tax Exemption for Green Buildings

Program Name: Real Property Tax Exemption for Green Buildings
Program Sponsor: New York State
Program Type:          Tax Exemption
Technology:               Alternative Energy Generation/Renewables; Energy Efficiency/ Demand Response
Fuel:                        Fuel Neutral  
Eligibility:  Buildings that meet various requirements
Cost: N/A


In July 2012 New York enacted legislation allowing municipal corporations to exempt green buildings from state real property taxes for up to ten years. The amount of the exemption permitted varies by year and by the certification level achieved.

Additionally, local governments may elect to extend favorable property tax treatment to green buildings under the law, but are not required to do so.

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


In order for the exemption to apply, a municipal corporation must first adopt legislation authorizing property tax exemptions for green buildings.

Requirements for claiming the exemption include:

  • Ownership Requirements: Property must be owned by an individual or individuals, or by a private organization.
  • Certification Requirements: Property constructed or reconstructed must meet certification standards for green buildings (LEED or equivalent to certified/silver, gold or platinum), as determined by an accredited professional.  Such property must meet standards established by LEED, the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes rating system, the national green building standards as approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), or substantially equivalent green building standards determined by the taxing jurisdiction. The certification of the property as meeting the applicable standard must be certified by a professional accredited with respect to the applicable rating system.
  • Construction Requirements: The value of the construction or reconstruction project must be greater than $10,000, and does not include routine maintenance or repairs.
  • Certification by State or Local Government: The construction or reconstruction project must be documented by a building permit or other documentation as required by the assessor, such as a certificate of occupancy.
  • Required Construction Start Date or Other Time Requirement: Construction of improvements must commence on or after January 1, 2013, or such later date as may be specified in local law, ordinance or resolution

How the Program Works

If allowed by local option, construction of improvements commenced after January 1, 2013 or later date specified in local law that are certified as meeting one of three levels of energy efficiency and environmental standards is partially exempt from taxation but liable to special ad valorem levies and special assessments. If the exemption is locally authorized, the exemption benefit will depend upon the level of LEED certification (or its equivalent) of the eligible project.

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 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%

How to Apply

Fill out the Application for Real Property Tax Exemption for Green Buildings to apply for the tax exemption.

Contact Information

Please send general questions or comments to ORPTS.