Green walls and roofs are a great way to improve air quality; they protect the house from heat and wind, absorb excess moisture and reduce noise.
In the Polish city of Kalisz, residents who plant greenery on the facade or roof of their house will be exempt from real estate tax. This decision was made by the city council on October 28 at the initiative of Mayor Christian Kinastovsky, according to TheMayor.EU.
The new tax benefits will take effect on January 1, 2022. To be exempt from the tax, you need to plant perennials on the roof or plant at least one wall with grapes, ivy or other climbing plants. A vertical green installation is also suitable.
“Green walls and roofs are a great way to improve the air quality in the city and improve the quality of life. Green facades become natural filters from pollution. They also regulate the temperature inside the building, protecting it from heat and wind, absorbing excess moisture and reducing noise. And they aesthetically decorate the city,” says Mayor Kinastowski.
The tax exemption, however, does not apply to those residential buildings that are used as business premises, as well as to those citizens who have tax arrears.
This is one of a number of Kalisz climate initiatives. More trees were planted here, green stops were set up, and insect houses were set up. The city has also begun co-financing the purchase of rainwater tanks.
On 28 October, the city council of Kalisz, Poland, adopted a decision nudging locals to take climate mitigation more seriously. Upon the proposition of Mayor Krystian Kinastowski, the local parliament decided that citizens could count on real estate tax exemption if they green their roofs or facades.
The measure will be valid from 1 January 2022 for the planting of perennial plants on the roof, which provides the building with multi-season vegetation, or for the greening of at least one wall of the building with vines whose roots are in the ground. Moreover, buildings that have an installation with a vertical garden could also be eligible to property tax exemption in the following year.
“Green walls and roofs are a good way to improve air quality in the city and increase the quality of life. Green facades become natural filters of pollution. They regulate the temperature inside buildings – they protect against heat and wind, absorb excess moisture, and reduce noise. They also improve the aesthetics of our city, they are simply its pride!… Introducing greenery to the urban space is one of the ways of adapting the city to climate change!” explained mayor Kinastowski, as quoted on the city website.
He further said that another benefit of this type of vegetation is that, unlike trees, it can be planted in many places and environments.
Finally, there are some conditions to meet in order to be freed from property tax. For instance, the measure only applies to residential buildings that are not used to conduct business activities; also – one needs not to be in arrears with taxes.
The city further points out that this is just one among many climate actions that they have undertaken recently – other than creating green bus stops, planting more trees, they are also co-financing the purchase of reservoirs for collection of rainwater, and distributing insect hotels to schools, among others.
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