SolarCity Corp. and Sunrun Inc. filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Revenue last month over its decision to impose property taxes on leased solar panels. This could cost solar companies – and in turn solar users – hundreds or thousands of dollars a year.
Leasing Solar Panels
It was originally believed that leased panels fell under the law exempting rooftop solar from tax valuations. However, the Department of Revenue instead equates leased rooftop solar with merchant power plants that sell electricity. Solar power plants are not exempt from property taxes.
The two companies argue leased solar panels are “designed for the production of solar energy primarily for on-site consumption” and are therefore within the guidelines of the law exempting rooftop solar from tax valuations as was originally believed. Solar panels owned by homeowners and businesses fall under this exemption.
According to the DOR, a $34,000 solar-panel array leased by a homeowner would cost $152 in property taxes. Even though this tax would decrease every year as the system depreciates, the customer loses the savings earned from using solar energy – a big incentive for leasing a solar panel in the first place. These taxes would be due starting in 2015.
Our team at Argent Solar thanks those that rallied at the Arizona state capitol to support rooftop solar. Read our article on this successful protest of the solar tax.
Stay connected with us for updates on this decision. We will guide you through how this proposed tax might affect you. At Argent Solar, we stay committed to helping our customers use solar energy in an affordable way. Join us as we still strive to get Arizona closer to its goal – 15 percent of power must come from renewable energy sources by 2025.