DUTCHESS COUNTY LEGISLATURE APPROVES SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR RESIDENTIAL SOLAR ENERGY
Poughkeepsie, NY—Members of the Dutchess County Legislature approved a resolution at their monthly board meeting August 14th to exempt residential solar energy from county sales taxes. The law would exclude the receipts from sales and use of residential solar energy, equipment and installation services, as well as the sale of electricity generated by such equipment from the county sales tax.
“Enacting this legislation is a critical step toward further incentivizing the use of renewable energy.” said Legislator John V. Forman, the main sponsor of the proposal who also serves as Chairman of the Environmental Committee. “It is my hope that when this law goes into effect, it will have the dual benefit of rewarding those who have already made the switch to solar while also encouraging others to do so. This is a small, but important component of our push to deviate from harmful fossil fuels and move towards clean, renewable energy. As residents of the Hudson Valley, doing anything we can to protect our beautiful and scenic environment must remain a top priority.”
If implemented, the sales tax exemption is estimated to save taxpayers a total of $175,000 in 2018 with a five year impact of roughly $1,015,000. The average annual sales tax revenue the county would be foregoing would even out to around $210,000 each year. A previous version of this bill was proposed in 2014 but was ultimately not enacted.
“This is a piece of legislation that we have wanted to push forward for some time” said Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Dale Borchert. “In previous years, the realities of the economic downturn and subsequent recovery made it impossible for the county to forego the revenue raised from this sales and use tax. However, as the county is now in a strong fiscal condition with a robust fund balance, thanks to years of smart decision making by the County Executive and the Legislature, we are proud to enact this at this time as we seek to further incentivize people to transition to green energy.”
The proposal now awaits the approval of County Executive Marc Molinaro. If signed into law, the exemption would take effect on March 1, 2018.