Pro-solar tax abatement bill heads to Florida Senate

Clearing another hurdle today, an implementation bill for Amendment 4, a pro-solar tax abatement approved by 73% of Florida voters last August, is working its way through the Florida legislature. After an amendment was filed by State Representative Ray Rodrigues late last night, a vastly improved version of the House implementation bill (HB 1351) passed the House Commerce Committee unanimously this morning, meaning Floridians are one step closer to enactment of the solar policy they voted for last year. The Senate version of an Amendment 4 implementation bill (SB 90) will be heard in the Senate Appropriation Committee tomorrow morning.

“We would like to thank Representative Ray Rodrigues and Senator Jeff Brandes for listening to Floridians who have once again made their voices heard on energy policy by contacting their elected officials to ask for a clean implementation bill,” said Tory Perfetti of Floridians for Solar Choice. “We are hopeful that the current versions of the House and Senate bills honor the will of the voters and will not add onerous burdens to small Florida businesses. A clean implementation bill for Amendment 4 will be a win for good energy policy for this great state, its business community, and all of its citizens.”

“We applaud Representative Ray Rodrigues for making important improvements to his bill that will help all segments of the solar market grow in the Sunshine State,” said Stephen Smith of Floridians for Solar Choice and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Deploying more solar power means good local jobs, more customer choice and a cleaner environment. We look forward to the Florida House and Senate implementing the will of the Florida voters and passing this historic legislation in the closing days of this legislative session.”

SEIA issued a press release praising the bill’s advancement:

“Today, we took a big step toward passing solar legislation in the House Commerce Committee that will protect Floridians and enact the will of the voters of Amendment 4,” said House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues. “House Bill 1351 is largely supported by the solar industry and will allow for proper consumer protections as well as tax exemptions to take place.”

“The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) applauds the initiative of House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues on House Bill 1351, which protects Floridians by providing them with the critical information they need to make smart decisions when considering solar,” said Tom Kimbis, executive vice president of SEIA. “By building off SEIA’s suite of consumer protection materials, policymakers, advocates and consumers will better understand solar transactions. We look forward to continued collaboration between the solar industry and state leaders as Florida adopts helpful consumer protection disclosures that can serve as a model throughout the nation.”

“House Bill 1351 will remove burdensome tax barriers on solar customers and add to the solar job growth in the Sunshine state,” said Scott Thomasson, southeast director of Vote Solar. “We look forward to continuing to support Leader Rodrigues and Senator Brandes to honor the will of the 2 million voters who supported Amendment 4 in August.”

News item from Floridians for Solar Choice. Updated with SEIA press release.

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