Legislature OKs bill giving property tax breaks to businesses installing green …

May 21, 2013 by  
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Monday, May 20, 2013 11:05 PM EDT

Legislature OKs bill giving property tax breaks to businesses installing green energy systems

HARTFORD — State lawmakers are proposing to give businesses that install renewable sources of power a break from local property taxes.

Lawmakers have heard complaints from owners of commercial and industrial properties that the additional property taxes on these renewable energy systems are negating their energy savings.

The legislature has sent a bill to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy that would provide a property tax exemption for such renewable energy sources. The administration supported the bill earlier in the session.

The House on Monday voted 119-14 to grant the bill final approval in the General Assembly; the Senate approved the bill 21-12 on April 24.

Supporters in the House said the proposed exemption will save commercial and industrial property owners money and make investment in renewable energy more appealing.

The exemption applies to renewable energy sources that were installed on Oct 1, 2014. The exempted sources include solar, wind, geothermal, fuel cells, hydropower and biomass.

The exemption does not apply if the renewable energy system is used to generate electricity for commercial sale, said Rep. Lonnie Reed, D-Milford, House chairwoman of the Energy and Technology Committee.

The legislation additionally gives municipalities the option of providing an exemption for renewable commercial and industrial systems that were installed between January 2010 and December 2013. The bill originally proposed to make this provision mandatory, but the Senate revised the legislation to make it optional for towns and cities.

The legislature’s budget office reported the exemption will reduce the tax base for affected municipalities. Some of the bill’s opponents objected to the loss of tax revenue.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection testified in support of the exemption before the Energy and Technology Committee in March. The Connecticut Business and Industry Association and the Connecticut Fund for the Environment also supported the committee’s bill.

Contact Paul Hughes at phughes@rep-am.com.

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