Bronx electeds support legislation that aims to help New York buildings meet energy efficiency goals

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The proposed GREEN Buildings Act would aid building owners in the Bronx and throughout NYC in complying with energy efficiency while providing tax abatements and exemptions.
Photo courtesy Getty Images

The City Council has launched a concerted effort with two letters in an attempt to convince Albany lawmakers to pass the Growing Resilient & Energy-Efficient NY (GREEN) Buildings Act that would assist buildings in New York City as well as New York state to meet the requirements of the law for Local Law 97 for residences in the Bronx as well as the five boroughs and throughout the state.

The first letter, written by Brooklyn Council Member Justin Brannan, was sent to Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Carl Heastie on Feb. 21 and expresses the importance of addressing climate change and meeting New York State emission reduction targets.

The letter, which includes 26 signatures as of Thursday, March 7, explains that the GREEN Building Act — also referred to as A.5050/S.943-A — will address the challenge of building owners bearing the costs of higher maintenance fees and fines by providing a property tax abatement and exemption for eligible New York City property owners.

“This legislation will deliver clear wins for our environment, our economy and our constituents,” the letter reads. “We hope you will consider passing it as quickly as possible so together we can achieve New York City and state climate goals.”

The second letter, sent to the office of Governor Kathy Hochul on March 1, expressed the importance of helping fellow New Yorker building owners in meeting emission reduction goals, as opposed to punishing them with fines if they are economically unable to comply.

The Common Sense Letter, along with the A.5050/S.943-A letter, explains that data from New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) suggests that approximately 15,000 property owners would be forced to invest more than $15 billion by 2030 in order to comply with the new emission standards imposed by Local Law 97.

The March 1 letter also expounds that the Green Buildings Act would provide some relief to the burden of constituents, especially for those who are in working and middle class residential co-ops and condos, where these costs would be “simply unaffordable” as the letters states.

“The enactment of A.5050/S.943-A will not alleviate all of the problems associated (in) compliance with Local Law 97, but it would certainly help to balance the state goals of improving our city’s environment with maintaining the viability of affordable homes,” the Common Sense Letter reads. “We urge you to prioritize its passage, as your support in swifty enacting this legislation is essential for ensuring our constituents are not alone shouldering the burden of complying with this law.”

The Common Sense letter currently has nine signatures from City Council members, including Kristy Marmorato, who represents District 13 in the Bronx.

The GREEN Buildings Act, modeled after the J-51 tax abatement and exemption program, would provide tax abatements as well as exemptions to buildings covered by Local Law 97 in order to help building owners meet the goals of the law and have their properties meet energy efficient requirements.

The list of signatures for both letters includes Council Majority Leader Amanda Farías along with local council members Althea Stevens, Kevin Riley, Eric Dinowitz and Rafael Salamanca, among others.

Local Law 97 was passed by City Council, as well as signed by former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio in April 2019 with a goal of addressing climate change, as well as meeting emission reduction targets.

Reach Steven Goodstein at or (718) 260–8326. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes