City Council Doubles Green Roof Tax Credit

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(PHILADELPHIA, PA) March 26, 2015 – Today, Philadelphia City Council passed Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown’s bill to double the City’s Green Roofs Tax Credit.

A green roof is defined as a roof that supports living vegetation and includes a synthetic, high quality waterproof membrane, drainage layer, soil layer and lightweight medium plants. According to the Philadelphia Water Department, green roofs have been proven to absorb and permanently retain up to 50 percent of the rainfall they receive and ultimately extend the lifetime of the roof by 100-200 percent.

Currently, the Green Roofs Tax Credit allows an applicant to receive a 25 percent credit off of their Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT) liability for approved expenses related to the installation of a green roof. The Councilwoman’s bill would increase this credit to 50 percent with a cap of $100,000. Therefore, if a business spends $40,000 on a green roof, they would currently receive a $10,000 credit off of their BIRT liability. This bill would double that credit to $20,000.

“Although we have a Green Roof Tax Credit in place, we discovered that in the last four years, only seven people applied and of those applicants, four were approved. The numbers do not lie; they are telling us that we have significant work to do getting the word out and incentivizing the construction of these roofs. I hope this bill encourages more business owners to step forward, take advantage of this credit and go green,” said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.

She continued, “Green roofs bring a sizable value to the property owner and the city. They control storm water, help curtail flooding, grow fresh fruits and vegetables, pump clean air back into the atmosphere and save property owners money by extending the life of the roof. They also contribute to the Mayor’s big picture goal of making Philadelphia the Greenest City in America.”

The City of Philadelphia is among twelve other U.S. cities, including New York, NY, Chicago, IL, and Washington, D.C., which offer monetary incentives for the construction of green roofs and/or storm water management systems. The bill will go into effect July 1, 2015.

For additional information please contact Communications Manager Jason Lewis at 215-686-3438 or 267-250-2925.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown has passed meaningful legislation and supported valuable community programming that positively impacts her core issues: children and youth, women, education, small business development, arts and culture and the environment and sustainability. Councilwoman Reynolds Brown is the only woman to win an At-Large Council seat since 1999.

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