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One will certainly see more buildings like this in Kalisz in the near future, Source: City of Kalisz

Kalisz, in Poland, waives property tax when greening roofs and façades

Kalisz, in Poland, waives property tax when greening roofs and façades

Proving that climate action can also be good for your pocket

At TheMayor.EU we often tell stories about urban greenery and its benefits for climate change mitigation and aesthetics – from greening roofs of bus stops to greening façades to replacing concrete with plants. Be as it may, these advantages may seem too vague to some citizens and as such – not sufficiently attractive to them.

Well, luckily one Polish city decided to add a solid and measurable benefit to climate mitigation measures, namely to exempt owners who green their roofs or façades from property tax.

Increasing greenery in urban environments is essential to resilience

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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