Sunny Days May Mean Property Tax Savings for Hoosiers Installing Solar Power Devices starting in 2012

As the City of Indianapolis gears up for 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, with the temperature possibly reaching into the 90s, it strikes me as an appropriate moment to discuss how Hoosier property owners can turn the summer sun into future property tax savings with a newly added solar power device deduction.  In its 2012 session, the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation providing for a property tax deduction for solar power devices installed after 2011.  Essentially, the deduction allows taxpayers to deduct the full assessed value of a “solar power device.”

The statute, which was made retroactive to January 1, 2012, defines a qualifying “solar power device” as “a device, such as a solar thermal, a photovoltaic, or other solar energy system, that is designed to use the radiant light or heat from the sun to produce electricity.”  Ind. Code § 6-1.1-12-26.1(c).  The deduction applies whether the device is assessed as real or personal property or as state-assessed “distributable” property (basically, property used to provide a utility’s products or services).  If the device is assessed as real property, the deduction is the difference in the “equipped” property’s value with and without the device installed.  If the device is assessed as personal or distributable property, the deduction equals the assessed value of the solar power device itself.

According to the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF), a taxpayer may receive the deduction if it: (a) owns the real property or the solar power device; (b) is buying the real property or solar power device under contract; or (c) is leasing the real property from the owner and is subject to assessment and property taxation with respect to the solar power device. See Ind. Code § 6-1.1-12-27.1.  The deduction, however, does not apply to solar power devices owned or operated by a person who provides electricity at wholesale or retail, with certain exceptions. 

The taxpayer must apply for the deduction with the county auditor.  A deduction statement filed before September 1, 2012, will be considered timely filed for purposes of obtaining the deduction in 2012 for property taxes first due and payable in 2013.  See HEA 1072, § 126 (http://1.usa.gov/Lwswi5)

The DLGF has issued guidance regarding application of the deduction. See http://1.usa.gov/KaSfjL.

Comments

  1. Although any encouragement, to the switchin, to solar power, is welcome, a more basic struggle would be to exile any man, who opposes the complete removal of any and all property taxes whatsoever, from USA.

    Thank you for your alert to this wonderful benefit, Brent.

    sss

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