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New York City - Property Tax Abatement for Photovoltaic (PV) Equipment Expenditures

Eligibility 
Commercial
Industrial
Nonprofit
Residential
Schools
Multifamily Residential
Institutional
Savings Category 
Solar Photovoltaics
Maximum Rebate 

$62,500 annually or the amount of real property taxes owed during a year

Program Info
Sector Name 
Local
Administrator 
New York City Department of Buildings
Expiration Date 

12/31/2016

State 
New York
Program Type 
Property Tax Incentive
Rebate Amount 

Installed from August 5, 2008 to December 31, 2010: 8.75% of system expenditures per year for 4 years (total of 35%);
Installed from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012: 5% of system expenditures per year for 4 years (total of 20%);
Installed from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013: 2.5% of system expenditures per year for 4 years (total of 10%)
Installed from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016: 5% of the system expenditures per year for 4 years

Summary 

NOTE: In October 2014, Senate Bill S0746A extended the compliance period to obtain tax abatement for solar electric generating systems until December 31st, 2016.

In August 2008 the State of New York enacted legislation allowing a property tax abatement for photovoltaic (PV) system expenditures made on buildings located in cities with a population of 1 million or more people. This limits the abatement to systems installed within New York City. Eligible buildings include all real property except utility real property. As originally enacted the in-service deadline for eligible systems was December 31, 2012. However, in August 2012 the abatement was extended to systems placed in service through December 31, 2014 at a reduced rate. In October 2014, the Senate Bill S0746 extended the compliance period for systems till 2016.

The abatement allows building owners to deduct from their total real property taxes* a portion of the expenditures associated with installing a PV system on an eligible building. Systems placed in service between August 5, 2008 (the effective date) and December 31, 2010 were eligible for an abatement of 8.75% of eligible expenditures annually for four years. Systems placed in service between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012 are eligible for an abatement of 5.0% of eligible expenditures annually for 4 years. Systems placed in service between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013 are eligible for an abatement of 2.5% of eligible expenditures annually for 4 years. Systems placed in service between January 1st, 2014 and December 31, 2016 are eligible for abatement of 5% of eligible expenditures for 4 years.

Thus the total property tax benefit can amount to either 35%, 20%, or 10% of the installed system cost depending on when it is built.

The maximum abatement during a year is $62,500 or the amount of real property taxes owed during the year. Unused balances may not be carried forward to subsequent years. Eligible expenditures include reasonable expenditures for materials and labor associated with planning, designing, and installing the system. Expenditures incurred using a federal, state, or local grant are not eligible, nor are interest or finance charges. However, the amount of eligible expenditures is not reduced by federal, state or local tax credits, tax abatements, tax exemptions or tax rebates.

The abatement program is administered by the Department of Finance in cooperation with the Department of Buildings. Applications for the abatement must be filed by March 15 in order to be eligible for a tax credit during the year the application is submitted. Applications submitted after this deadline can be applied to taxes owed for the following fiscal year. It is important to note that claiming the abatement does not affect whether a building owner can claim New York's real property tax exemption on the value added by solar, wind, and farm-based biogas energy systems.

*This incentive is similar to an investment tax credit for renewable energy systems, which are frequently applied to personal or corporate income taxes. It is unique in that the tax benefits are recouped through reduced property taxes on the host building instead of through reduced income taxes.