The decisions of the ATB, in particular Forrestall Enterprises, Inc.c. In 2014, the City of Westborough`s Council of Appraisers reversed the way section 45 had been interpreted for years by municipal officials and DOR.156 The ATB`s interpretation of this legal exemption reveals a loophole that allows commercial solar installations to avoid paying personal property taxes on their equipment. 159. Holtzman, M. (2017, October 12). Signature of the 16-year PILOT contract for the Swansea Solar Park. The Herald News. www.heraldnews.com/news/20171012/16-year-pilot-agreement-signed-for-swansea-solar-farm For example, the City of Granby passed a moratorium on solar energy in May 2019 due to concerns about future tax revenues from solar installations.172 Board members argued that solar installations could opt for a tax exemption under existing loopholes in state law. The moratorium would give residents time to discuss the issue with officials at public hearings.173 The quarterly SEIA/Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables U.S. Solar Market Insight report highlights key trends in the U.S. solar industry.
In Maryland, solar panels are treated as personal property, and due to the capital-intensive nature of solar energy projects, personal property taxes can be a significant barrier to the economic feasibility of such a project. Fortunately, Maryland Law offers some relief in this area if you know what to do. Given the complexity of these agreements, when negotiating a PILOT PROJECT, school officials should consider working closely with their school lawyer and an energy expert. Electricity generation facilities participating in PILOT agreements with municipalities must contribute to «the equivalent of the property tax payable on the basis of a complete and fair cash assessment.» 160 However, in order to evaluate solar installations for the purposes of a PILOT contract, appraisers must make forecasts of the `full cash valuation` of the equipment for each year of the PILOT agreement, taking into account depreciation. This process is very different from the one traditionally associated with taxing a generating plant that would use up-to-date information each year.161 SEIA`s Solar Means business report tracks the adoption of solar energy by U.S. companies and corporations. SEIA members at the watt level and above have access to the full dataset behind this report, which includes project-level data for more than 38,000 individual commercial solar systems. If your school district has not denied the section 487 tax exemption, any renewable energy project in your county is exempt from property tax. If you are informed by a company of its intention to build a solar project, you have the right to require the company to enter into a PILOT agreement. This request must be made within 60 days of the termination letter.
If you do not submit this application, the company is not required to offer a PILOT PROJECT and the school district could lose property tax revenue from the project for fifteen years. The guidelines also include a «checklist» of the requirements required to negotiate a PILOT agreement and describe the roles that municipal officials play in the agreement.169 While a municipality`s policies provide instructions on how to evaluate solar installations and agree to a PILOT contract, they lack clear examples of a standardized agreement or assessment process. Even if solar developers could be exempted from paying taxes on solar panels, they might still be willing to negotiate PILOT agreements with municipalities, provided they had some responsibility to participate in the financing of municipal services. Agreements are becoming increasingly important because they remain a method for municipalities to generate tax revenues that might otherwise be lost. The details of ownership and tax liability vary by property, and so some PILOT agreements have focused solely on personal property tax due to ATB decisions. .