Nevada Solar Tax: Your Homeowner Guide
When most people think of solar power, their first thought is residential solar. Residential solar is when solar panels are installed on a home’s roof or, in more rare cases, in the backyard. Residential solar is an important part of the efforts to bring renewable energy to America. However, it is not the only part.
Alongside residential solar are large-scale solar facilities. These are power plants that rely on the energy of the sun, rather than on fossil fuels or wind. Investing in large-scale renewable energy plants is an essential part of America’s path to going green.
Many states have crafted policies to encourage the growth of large-scale solar production. Nevada is no exception to this rule. The Renewable Energy Tax Abatements (RETA) program was established to help build widespread solar power in the Silver State.
What Is the RETA (Renewable Energy Tax Abatements) Program?
Nevada’s RETA program is one of the state’s main tools in building solar. It is one of the biggest ways that the state government helps businesses establish themselves in the renewable energy industry. This is important for Nevada’s renewable energy portfolio.
Outline of the RETA
There are two main aspects to the RETA, both of which are ways to reduce taxes on large-scale solar facilities. The first is a partial sales and use tax abatement. The second is a partial property tax abatement.
The RETA Sales and Use Tax Abatement
The first provision of the RETA is a sales and use tax abatement. This initiative allows qualified solar facilities to lock in their sales tax rate at 2.6 percent. This sales tax abatement only applies to solar technologies laid out by Nevada solar law.
There are certain provisions which a business needs to comply with before they are eligible for the sales tax exemption.
Firstly, a business needs to employ a minimum number of employees from the state of Nevada. A minimum of 75 employees is required, with at least 50 of those employees being Nevada residents.
Secondly, the wage for the employees at the solar facility needs to be at least 10 percent higher than the average hourly wage in Nevada. This is done to ensure that the construction of large solar facilities benefits multiple economic sectors. Both the solar technicians and construction workers will be guaranteed a well-paying job.
The final main provision (though there are others) that needs to be met is a capital investment. At least $3,000,000 has to be invested in the facility, up to $10,000,000. That investment involves the material property, but also must stay within the state. This is done to ensure outside investment into the Nevada economy.
If all this is done, then the facility qualifies for the lowered sales tax.
The RETA Property Tax Abatement
A partial property tax exemption is available for large-scale solar facilities in Nevada. The property tax can account for up to 55 percent of the value of the property used to generate solar energy. It can be claimed for up to 20 years, but only if the facility has a capacity of 10 megawatts or more.
The Impact of the RETA Program
The Renewable Energy Tax Abatement program has had a huge impact on renewable energy in Nevada. RETA has provided 12,000 construction jobs since it was enacted. It has also provided for an additional 500 solar operations jobs. All of these jobs had above-average pay.
According to the Governor’s Office of Energy, Nevada has benefited from approximately $10.6 billion in capital investment, in taxes, and in payroll. This is an enormous amount brought directly to Nevada by the program. Without this program, these investments likely would not have come to the state.
Therefore, we can see that not only has Nevada begun to benefit from more clean, renewable energy, but also from increased investment and business. Nevada’s economy, which is usually in the top 10 for American states, has flourished. Nevada’s renewable energy portfolio has continued to grow. Without the program, this might not have happened.
This is just one of many solar programs that have been enacted by the Nevada state legislature. Nevada is one of the top states in America for solar energy and these programs have played a large role. The RETA program was applied to businesses, while the PUC program was enacted to benefit potential solar homeowners. With these two programs, among others, the future is looking bright in the sunny state of Nevada.