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Two Keys boards endorse Amendment Four

by Michael Welber

In a unanimous vote, the Marathon City Council and the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners endorsed the passage of Amendment 4, scheduled to be voted on when voters go to the polls for the August 30 primary.

Amendment 4 will amend Florida’s Constitution to exempt the value of solar panels and other renewable energy equipment from both the tangible personal property tax and the real property tax for a period of 20 years. To become law, it must be approved by a YES vote of at least 60 percent on the August 30 primary ballot.

Amendment 4 would lower solar energy costs by lowering taxes on solar installations because the tangible personal property tax is currently passed on to customers in the form of increased solar power prices of up to five cents per kilowatt hour.

According to Solar Education Association of the Florida Keys Executive Director Michael Welber, the amendment should help increase the number of solar installations in Florida.

“Reducing taxes can be a big deal in Florida where a couple cents can make or break the economics of going solar,” he said. The concept is simple. Lower taxes equals lower solar energy costs.”

Welber also pointed out that solar is a big job producer. One out of every 83 new jobs created in the US last year was in the solar industry. Voting YES on Amendment 4 will allow the solar industry to grow in the Sunshine State, creating well-paying local jobs that cannot be outsourced.

The Solar Education Association is urging residents to vote YES on Amendment 4 on the August 30 ballot.

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