When the state passed a tax break designed to encouraged solar energy, they got more than they bargained for, losing out on almost $40 million in tax revenue in just a three year period. But proposed legislation could soon end that break.
House Bill 705 is on the path to phase out Louisiana's solar energy tax credit program. Currently residents can claim up to 50 percent of the first $25,000 in costs for the purchase and installation of solar energy systems.
The program has been such a success, last year alone $24 million in credits were given out. But State Rep. Erich Ponti said times have changed since 2009 when he proposed legislation that gave out those solar energy credits. Ponti said the cost of putting a system in has decreased and more and more people are applying to have them installed.
Before, Ponti says, when solar energy was first coming out it was so expensive but now it's affordable, the solar industry is booming and just about anyone can get one installed. If HB 705 is approved, the credit phase out would begin immediately and run until the year 2020 when it will then be eliminated.