Why NM Legislators Should Vote for SB 29
Summary: Sponsored by Senator Stewart and Rep. McQueen, SB29 would replace the expired Solar Tax Credit with an income tax credit of 10% of the purchase and installation costs of either solar thermal or photovoltaic systems installed after January 1, 2020, not to exceed $6,000 per taxpayer. The department’s maximum annual aggregate tax credit is $10 million, which will be granted to taxpayers in the order of application.
History: The previous solar market development tax credit took effect in 2006, but expired in 2016. A similar bill introduced in 2017 was sent to the House Business and Industry Committee, and was never considered. In the 2018 session, SB79 to reinstate the Solar Tax Credit, introduced by Sen. Mimi Stewart, passed both houses but was pocket vetoed by the governor. In 2019, the bill died in Senate Corporations & Transportation where it never received a hearing. A substitute bill, SB 518 reduced the funding amount in half to $5 million, but then passed Senate Corporations and Senate Finance unanimously before passing on the Senate floor 29-12. It then died on the House Floor on the last day, having run out of time.
Why This Bill Is Good for NM
- Encourages New Mexico residents and businesses to install solar panels, which boosts job growth in the local solar industry.
- The economic benefits from new solar projects in the US––over 9,000 jobs, $430 million of labor income, and reductions in electricity costs––would more than cover the cost of the tax credit.
- Solar power reduces greenhouse gases and pollutants: the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that one home switching to solar powered electricity eliminates the equivalent of burning 4,000 to 5,000 pounds of coal each year.
- A solar tax credit improves New Mexico’s image, suggesting that it is ready to move into the modern energy economy.
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