Going green could save you money on your taxes, or, at least that’s what two local elected officials are hoping for.
Councilmember Mark Treyger and Assemblymember Pamela Harris are partnering on new legislation that looks to create tax credits for homeowners and small businesses that invest in green infrastructure for their properties.
Harris, who introduced her bill in the state Assembly, encourages homeowners and businesses to equip their properties with cost-effective, resilient ways to manage rain water by offering a tax credit for 50 percent of the construction costs. The maximum value of the credit would be $5,000.
“As residents of Coney Island know, our neighborhood is vulnerable to flooding not just during extreme storms like Hurricane Sandy, but during any period of sustained, heavy rain,” Harris said. “I am proud to introduce legislation that will make it much more affordable for our neighbors to make the necessary upgrades to their homes and invest in building a stronger community.”
As chair of the City Council’s Committee on Recovery and Resiliency, Treyger, who will support Hariss’ bill by introducing a resolution in the Council, has fought for resiliency measures in his district aggressively.
“We must be cognizant of how important it is for us to find new methods through which we can make our city more environmentally-friendly, economical and efficient,” said Treyger. “New Yorkers across the city should be encouraged to play a part in that. Offering homeowners and businesses a tax credit means making their property ‘greener’ will be a more cost-effective proposition.
“Being more conscious of the environment shouldn’t be a financial burden,” he continued. “It might not be a hurricane that drives people away next time, but rather the financial storm known as flood insurance that will soon be mandated by the completion of the new FEMA flood maps. Resiliency and affordability must be intertwined; you cannot have one without the other. This isn’t just a win-win for our city and its residents; it’s also a win for our planet.”
According to Treyger’s office, examples of green infrastructure include: planter boxes; permeable pavements; green roofs covered with vegetation, functioning much like a rain garden; rerouting of rooftop drainage pipes from draining rainwater into storm sewers and instead into rain barrels, cisterns, or permeable areas; rainwater harvesting – which saves rainwater for later use; and rain gardens which absorbs runoff from rooftops, sidewalks and streets.