Florida one step closer to implementing solar tax break

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The amendment would make solar and renewable energy equipment on commercial buildings exempt from property taxes for 20 years, beginning in 2018. Source: Flickr/DonkeyHotey

Florida’s House Commerce committee successfully passed HB 1351 yesterday – otherwise known as the bill that would implement Amendment 4.

The amendment would make solar and renewable energy equipment on commercial buildings exempt from property taxes for 20 years, beginning in 2018.

The legislation was first approved by 73% of solar-favouring Floridians who voted overwhelming for the tax break in August. It was not until February however that the bill passed through the Senate committee.

Late Tuesday evening, House Majority representative Ray Rodrigues filed the amendment to the bill which passed unanimously through the rest of the committee.

“Today, we took a big step toward passing solar legislation in the House Commerce Committee that will protect Floridians and enact the will of the voters of Amendment 4,” Rodrigues said.  “House Bill 1351 is largely supported by the solar industry and will allow for proper consumer protections as well as tax exemptions to take place.”

As Floridian solar is one step closer to being exempt from property taxes, the industry praised the bill’s smooth passage thus far:

“The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) applauds the initiative of House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues on House Bill 1351, which protects Floridians by providing them with the critical information they need to make smart decisions when considering solar,” said Tom Kimbis, executive vice president of SEIA. “By building off SEIA’s suite of consumer protection materials, policymakers, advocates and consumers will better understand solar transactions. We look forward to continued collaboration between the solar industry and state leaders as Florida adopts helpful consumer protection disclosures that can serve as a model throughout the nation.”

“House Bill 1351 will remove burdensome tax barriers on solar customers and add to the solar job growth in the Sunshine state,” said Scott Thomasson, Southeast director of Vote Solar. “We look forward to continuing to support Leader Rodrigues and Senator Brandes to honor the will of the 2 million voters who supported Amendment 4 in August.”

As the next step, the bill will be reviewed in the Senate Appropriation Committee today.

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