Florida officially enshrines solar tax break into law

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Source: Flickr/John T. Howard

Florida governor Rick Scott officially signed AB 90 into law on Friday – the bill that implement’s 2016 Amendment 4 by making solar and renewable energy equipment on commercial buildings exempt from property taxes for 20 years, beginning next year.

The bill also removes burdensome taxes on solar installations by exempting 80% of their value from the tangible personal property tax, and includes key consumer protection provisions.

The legislation was first approved by an overwhelming majority of Floridians in an August 2016 vote, and passed through the legislature early last month before receiving official rubber stamp from Scott.

“This legislation will help Florida take its rightful place as a solar star,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “The state’s market doubled last year and we expect this new law will help Florida become one of the top five solar states in short order. We are particularly enthusiastic about the strong consumer protections in the legislation that provide transparency to customers and clear rules of the road for solar installers. We thank Governor Scott, Senator Brandes and Majority Leader Rodrigues for their leadership on solar and support for our industry’s growth.”

“This is a victory for Florida, solar customers, and non-solar customers alike,” said Patrick Altier, President of Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA). “Better tax policy means more local jobs, lowered energy costs, and more clean, affordable, solar energy in the Sunshine State.”

“The implementation of Amendment 4 is a resounding victory for voters across the Sunshine State,” said Pamela Goodman, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “It is clear that the people of Florida demand good solar policy – the voters have spoken, as has the Legislature, and now finally the Governor.”

“Reducing taxes is smart energy policy, and I’m proud to see Governor Scott sign this important legislation into law.” said Tory Perfetti, Chair of Floridians for Solar Choice and Florida Director of Conservatives for Energy Freedom. “This effort has been supported by a historic coalition and unanimous legislative support, along with a resounding public vote. The Sunshine State has spoken, and they said: We want the freedom to choose to solar.”

This new law will enable the Sunshine State to continue its excellent solar progress. Last year, the solar market grew by more than 200%, with solar jobs surging 25%, according to GTM Research’s latest report. The state is the 12th largest solar market, and has the fifth most solar jobs in the country. 

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