MACo Supports Local Flexibility to Expand Community Solar, Opposes Broad Tax Exemptions

MACO Associate Director Kevin Kinnally testified before the Senate Budget and Taxation in support with amendments of SB 954 (CF HB 1106) – Property Tax – Solar Energy Systems. The bill designates certain solar energy property as a new subclass of personal property, authorizes local governments to impose a lower personal property tax rate on solar energy equipment, and generally grants broad tax exemptions for rooftop community solar energy generating systems.

From MACo Testimony:

MACo appreciates the flexibility to impose a lower personal property tax rate on solar energy equipment, as many counties are interested in promoting community solar on rooftops, brownfields, or less desirable lands as alternatives to large-scale energy generation facilities. However, local personal property tax revenues would decrease by $2.7 million due to the tax exemption for community solar energy generating systems and other assessment changes, according to the bill’s fiscal note. Further, the fiscal note indicates that as solar energy generating systems become more viable, the potential decrease in local property tax revenues from the personal property exemption will be substantially higher than currently estimated.

MACo urges amendments to authorize rather than mandate a personal property tax exemption for specified solar property, and to strike the language that prohibits SDAT from considering the income attributable to a community solar energy generating system when determining a personal property assessment.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.