Solar tax credit legislation dies on deadline day
Tuesday was the deadline for original floor action on appropriation and revenue bills that originated in the opposite chamber of the Legislature.
One of the bills that died would have offered a tax credit for the installation of solar energy systems.
House bill 1591 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
It would have offered an income and/or franchise tax credit for businesses that install solar energy systems, like those that use solar panels, and other services designed to improve energy efficiency. The credits would have applied to systems purchased and installed after July 1.
Similar legislation has passed in other states – California has become most associated with solar energy and offers similar tax credits — and has created some unintended consequences. Solar lease companies have become popular as money from the 2008 stimulus and other state and federal incentives for the industry became available. Homeowners who essentially rent the systems from solar lease companies don’t get the rebate because they did not purchase anything. The company receives the incentive.
What the homeowner does get is the lease debt associated with the system, even if it’s sold.
Regulation and oversight of solar lease companies – many of which are not headquartered in the state offering the tax credit – has also proven difficult.
The bill that died Tuesday would have allowed lease companies to take advantage of the credit.