Reducing tax obligations just became easier for Florida businesses, and they will manage to do some good for the environment in the process. In a bid to stimulate the region’s economic climate, state lawmakers seized an opportunity to make local businesses a bit greener and more profitable, as well.
Earlier this year, the Florida House and Senate both unanimously passed an amended version of Senate Bill 90. Amendment 4 assures an exemption to property taxes for businesses and individuals alike amid installation of solar, wind, geothermal, or other renewable energy sources.
“We thank Governor [Rick] Scott for signing this bill to carry out the desire of Florida voters to see more renewable energy in the Sunshine State,” said AEE associate director of energy policy and analysis Maria Robinson, per PR Newswire. “By signing the bill to implement Amendment 4, the Governor has removed a critical barrier to growth, allowing for more residential and commercial customers to choose advanced energy options like solar power, and spurring growth of advanced energy companies and jobs in Florida.”
At present, Florida already enjoys a robust energy climate. Worth $6.2 billion and generating 140,000 jobs, the sector outpaces agriculture and other primary industries in the state. Accordingly, it was a high priority for legislators looking to remain on the economic (and cultural) cutting edge.
Amid environmental concern and the ever-present demand for efficiency, clean and affordable energy is becoming ever more important to policy makers attempting to remain on the right side of history. Importantly, laws like this one can help businesses achieve their bottom lines without an insurmountable tax burden getting in the way.
What SB 90 Might Mean for Your Business Tax
The legislation stipulates that 80% of an installed renewable device’s assessed value be exempt from ad valorem taxation as per its status as tangible personal property. The new tax policy applies only to commercial properties, but the law also extends a previous tax abatement through 2038 for solar and renewable devices installed on residential properties.
For businesses, the tax break applies to commercial rooftop solar and utility-scale solar installed after January 1, 2018 and does not retroactively extend any consideration to pre existing projects. Whether the installed device is owned by a landowner or tenant will determine how the exemption is assessed.
Those advising businesses on their taxes are anticipating significant benefit.
“Our clients are definitely seeing value in the exemptions and finding that this helps improve the financial feasibility of projects,” explained Tampa attorney Tim Hughes, per Palm Beach Post.
Due to the volume of required disclosures included amid associated legislation, growth of residentially-based renewable usage may be less astronomical. Expectations of a more environmentally friendly corporate sector are, however, no joke.
Is Your Business Paying Too Much In Taxes?
With new legislation significantly impacting your potential tax obligations, your company may require more than accounting alone. A qualified attorney can assure you take full advantage of any exemption to which you are rightfully entitled, or advise you with respect to how you might benefit from tax law more generally.
Whether it be a question of entity formation or resolution of a tax-related dispute, Matthew Fornaro has long demonstrated the record and pedigree needed to assure your business interests remain on the right side of the law. He practices in Coral Springs, Parkland, and Broward County, Florida. To arrange for consultation, simply fill out the contact form located here.
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