“Commercial renewable energy systems” exemption and tax rate law held in committee

A bill that would set  a uniform tax exemption rate  for “commercial renewable energy systems” was held in the Senate Budget Committee today following discussion. This bill, S2888, would amend a 2008 law.

Under the bill, property that has been certified by a local enforcing agency as a commercial renewable energy system would be exempt from property taxation, and would instead be subject to a uniform tax rate.

Sen. Barbara Buono raised an objection to this mid-stream change since it may hurt entities who were in accord with the 2008 law, made an investment, and may now find themselves subject to a tax. It was done to “incentivize’’ solar energy,” she said.

Sen. Jeff Van Drew said this bill, as an example, would affect situations such as larger companies that put solar panels on farms, often large tracts of land, and then in some cases export energy out of state and the municipalities miss out on revenue.

These type of operations “should pay their fair share,’’ Van Drew said.

According to the bill, the owner of  property on which a certified commercial renewable energy system is located would have an assessed value equal to the assessed valuation of the real property without the commercial renewable energy system included, with the additional tax due for the commercial renewable energy system calculated as follows: $7,000 for each 1,000 kilowatts of direct current capacity, or its equivalent, for the first year of commercial operation of the system, increasing by one percent in each subsequent year of commercial operation and until decommissioning of the system.

  “Commercial renewable energy systems” exemption and tax rate law held in committee