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Monday
Mar112019

Stewart Bill to Re-instate Solar Tax Credit Passes Senate

Sen. Mimi Stewart’s legislation to re-instate the solar tax credit in New Mexico passed the Senate on Friday by a vote of 29-12.

 “Solar energy is clean, renewable energy that allows families to heat their homes and cook their meals without hurting the natural environment,” Stewart said. “The solar tax credit will help more New Mexico families invest in solar—which is an investment in our state’s future.”

 SB 518 specifically allows for New Mexico taxpayers who install a photovoltaic energy system in their home, small business or small farm after January 1, 2019, to receive tax credit up to 10 percent of the cost of the system they installed. The tax credit would not exceed $6,000 per household and the annual budget cap for the credit is $5 million. The credit will be available to consumers for the 10 years, sun-setting in 2029.

 “Making solar energy more affordable for New Mexicans makes sense,” Stewart said. “Families, farmers and small-business owners want to invest in clean, renewable energy. This straightforward tax credit will help them do that.”

 New Mexico previously had a similar solar tax credit, but it expired at the end of 2016 and the Legislature has not re-instated it. In the first six years that the previous credit was in place, ​39 megawatts of solar energy were installed​ ​in homes, small businesses and small farms in New Mexico. More than 6,800 New Mexicans​ took advantage of that solar tax credit from 2008 to 2015.​

 “It’s time to put the solar tax credit back in place,” Stewart said. “This investment in solar energy will allow thousands more New Mexicans to install solar energy systems. That means lower energy for bills for them and more jobs in the clean-energy economy.”

 SB 518 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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A retired teacher, Senate Majority Whip Mimi Stewart has served two years as chair of the Legislative Education Study Committee. Prior to becoming a state Senator, Stewart served 20 years in the New Mexico House of Representatives, where she chaired the Education Committee. Stewart lives in Albuquerque. Learn more at www.mimistewart.org and follow her on Twitter @Sen_MimiStewart and on Instagram @mimistewart9.