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Amendment 4: Tax Exemption On Renewable Energy Devices

The League of Women Voters of Florida & Miami-Dade County recommend a YES Vote

Amendment 4 expands tax breaks on renewable energy devices to include businesses. Current state law restricts property-tax breaks on solar power and other renewable energy devices to residential property. The amendment would authorize (but not require) the state Legislature to pass laws exempting businesses from two different taxes when those businesses purchase renewable energy devices. One exemption would prohibit local governments from considering renewable energy devices when determining the value of real estate used for business purposes. The other would exempt renewable energy devices from the state’s tax on a business’ “tangible personal property,” which includes such items as computers and furniture. The amendment would take effect on Jan. 1, 2018, and would sunset on Dec. 31, 2037. This amendment, which will appear on the Aug. 30 primary ballot, should not be confused with a solar-power amendment that will appear on the general election ballot Nov. 8. The two are very different. 

A YES vote on Amendment 4 would:

  • Change the state Constitution by allowing the Legislature to exempt renewable energy devices from a tax imposed on business-owned personal property.
  • Allows the Legislature to prohibit local property appraisers from including renewable energy devices when determining the value of business-owned real estate, which means property tax bills would not increase because a business purchased those devices.
  • Potentially encourage businesses to invest in renewable energy devices, such as solar-power cells and wind turbines that generate electricity.

A NO vote on Amendment 4 would:

  • Maintain the status quo, which currently subjects businesses that buy renewable energy devices to the state’s tax on personal property.
  • Continue allowing local property appraisers to include renewable energy devices when deciding how much real estate is worth, which means the value of those devices shows up on a business’ tax bill.
  • Have no effect on the current law that grants a tax exemption on renewable energy devices used on residential property.