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Englebright Measure Eliminates Commercial Solar Energy Sales Tax

Commercial solar energy systems will now be exempt from state sales tax after Gov. Cuomo signs new bill into law.

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday signed into law a measure developed by Assemb. Steve Englebright, D-Setauket, that eliminates state sales tax and compensating use tax on commercial solar energy systems.

The measure expands on the previous sales tax exemptions for residential solar energy systems, designed to encourage people to install more solar energy systems.

"We can simultaneously create new jobs and achieve the goals set for New York State's electricity needs through clean renewable energy and improved energy efficiency, but we must provide incentives like sales tax exemption to encourage businesses to install solar energy systems just as we have done with homeowners,” Englebright said in a statement.

He said commercial solar energy systems are often much larger than residential ones, which means state and local taxes "add thousands of dollars onto an installation that is already very costly." The law also gives municipalities an option to eliminate their portion of sales tax on commercial solar energy systems.

Sail Van Nostrand, chair of the Long Island Solar Industries Association, lauded the new legislation and predicted it will lead to an increase in solar energy installations on commercial properties.

"The elimination of the sales tax improves on an already attractive proposition of solar energy for small and large businesses alike," Van Nostrand said in a statement.

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