The governor of Florida, Rick Scott, signed Bill AB 90 into law on Friday. AB 90 implements the 2016 “Amendment 4″ which makes solar and renewable energy installations and equipment on all commercial buildings exempt from property taxes for the next 20 years. The bill also removes some rather imposing taxes on solar installations through exempting 80% of the installation’s value from the tangible personal property tax.
The legislation was first approved by the massive majority of Florida residents during August 2016, then it was passed through the legislature last month, before being signed and stamped by Scott.
SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper spoke about the bill’s significance for the solar industry in Florida.
“This legislation will help Florida take its rightful place as a solar star,” said Hopper. “The state’s market doubled last year and we expect this new law will help Florida become one of the top five solar states in short order. We are particularly enthusiastic about the strong consumer protections in the legislation that provide transparency to customers and clear rules of the road for solar installers. We thank Governor Scott, Senator Brandes and Majority Leader Rodrigues for their leadership on solar and support for our industry’s growth.”
Meanwhile, President of Florida Solar Energy Industries Association Patrick Altier declared the bill will benefit Florida, solar customers, and even non-solar customers. Altier said that better tax policy would translate to more local jobs, lower energy costs, and energy that is more clean and affordable for Florida.
“The implementation of Amendment 4 is a resounding victory for voters across the Sunshine State,” said President of the League of Women Voters of Florida, Pamela Goodman. “It is clear that the people of Florida demand good solar policy – the voters have spoken, as has the Legislature, and now finally the Governor.”
Many are cheering Florida Gov. Scott on for his decision to reduce taxes on renewable energy installations, saying that it makes good business sense, such as Tory Perfetti, the Chair of Floridians for Solar Choice and Director of Florida’s Conservatives for Energy Freedom.
“This effort has been supported by a historic coalition and unanimous legislative support, along with a resounding public vote. The Sunshine State has spoken, and they said: We want the freedom to choose to solar,” says Perfetti.
Florida is already growing substantially in terms of the solar energy market. It is currently the 12th largest solar market in the country, and the has the fifth most solar jobs of any state. The new law will enable Florida to continue growing its solar industry.