Solar tax credit for homeowners goes to governor's desk

A bill reinstating a tax credit for homeowners who install solar panels is headed to the governor's desk for her signature. The House voted 51-19 to approve Senate Bill 29, introduced by Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, and Rep. Matthew McQueen, D-Galisteo. The Senate approved the measure last week on a vote of 33-6. courtesy PPC solar

New Mexico Sen. Mimi Stewart's bill to reinstate the solar tax credit in New Mexico passed the Senate Corporations and Transportation committee on Monday (Jan. 27) by a vote of 7-2. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has listed this legislation as one of her priorities in this session.

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

Senate Bill 29, which Stewart is co-sponsoring with Rep. Matthew McQueen, D-Santa Fe, specifically allows New Mexico taxpayers who install a photovoltaic energy collection system in their home, small business or small farm after Jan. 1, 2020, to apply for a tax credit of up to 10 percent of the cost of their system. The tax credit would not exceed $6,000 per household, and the annual budget cap for the credit is $10 million. The credit will be available to consumers for 10 years, sunsetting in 2030.

"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."

The state previously had a similar tax credit that expired at the end of 2016. Stewart sponsored a similar bill in the 2019 session but, despite support, it didn't make it to the governor's desk to be signed into law.

"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 bills for them and more jobs in the clean-energy economy."

SB 29 now goes to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

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