It is rather sad that despite being flooded with sunlight throughout the year, Florida residents can hardly enjoy financial benefits out of this privilege. The Florida Tax Exemptions for Renewable Energy Measure, Amendment 4 seeks to change all of that. It is on the August 30, 2016 primary election ballot of the state. Although right now Florida has an ad valorem tax abatement applicable on solar and renewable devices on household properties, this Amendment 4 would expand the scope on the production of renewable energy.
What Does Amendment 4 Propose to Do?
Amendment 4 promises a world of benefits to the citizens of Florida. These are as follows:
1. Lower Taxes: Both homeowners and businesses who decide to go solar would benefit from this amendment. This is because Amendment 4 would make way for a property tax (both the tangible property tax and the real property tax) exemption. In other words, if Amendment 4 comes into force it would exempt the value of solar panels while assessing any home or business property.
2. Greater Reach: Amendment 4 would make solar more accessible to people. How? By reducing tax and making it more affordable. Solar users can continue to reap the benefits in the form of lower electricity bills.
3. Sustainable Future: Solar energy is clean and green. It wastes no water and emits no pollutants to the environment. The result? Brighter, better Florida.
4. More Jobs: According to the Solar Foundation 2015 Job Census, one out of every 83 new jobs in the US is in the solar industry. Amendment 4 would facilitate the creation of more jobs for the local economy. What’s more, most of these jobs cannot be outsourced, which would mean more overall growth.
What Should You Expect to See on August Ballot
Here’s what the full text of Amendment 4 would read on the ballot:
Renewable Energy Source Devices; Exemption from Certain Taxation and Assessment – Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to exempt from ad valorem taxation the assessed value of solar or renewable energy source devices subject to tangible personal property tax, and to authorize the legislature, by general law, to prohibit consideration of such devices in assessing the value of real property for ad valorem taxation purposes. This amendment takes effect January 1, 2018, and expires on December 31, 2037.
Your vote on August 30 can make a difference because Amendment 4 needs at least 60 percent approval from the voters. You can still empower yourself and contribute to a cleaner environment in the state. We are all for that empowerment. Choose wisely. Choose well.