Clear Cut Winner for Solar: Groups say Vote Yes on Amendment 4 on August Ballot

 

Florida voters will see a single amendment on their August primary ballot: Amendment 4.  A broad cross-section of more than 170 environmental and business groups across the state say Amendment 4 is good for both consumers and for business. Amendment 4 was placed on the ballot by the unanimous consent of the Florida House of Representatives and Senate and no organized opposition has filed to oppose this effort.

Amendment 4 will amend Florida’s Constitution to exempt the value of solar panels and other renewable energy equipment from both the tangible personal property tax and the real property tax. In Florida, changes in state property taxes and exemptions most be placed in the Constitution to take effect, and any proposed constitutional amendments must be supported by at least 60 percent of voters for approval.

On the primary ballot, Amendment 4 is labeled: “SOLAR DEVICES OR RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCE DEVICES; EXEMPTION FROM CERTAIN TAXATION AND ASSESSMENT.”

If approved, it would:

■ Extend a tax break for residential property owners who have installed solar or other renewable energy equipment since Jan. 1, 2013.

■ Establish a new exemption for businesses. If Amendment 4 is approved, appraisers would exempt the value of renewable-energy devices from the ad valorem tax levied on the “tangible personal property” of businesses. (This defines everything other than real estate used in a business,)

Experts say Florida should be in the top three for solar nationally, particularly with our high electricity costs for almost year round air conditioning. According to US Department of Energy, Floridians consume 40% more electricity than the national average. Voters who want to see solar expanded in the Sunshine State should vote YES on Amendment 4.

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