EIBC Speaks at House Tax Policy Committee

Today, House Bills 4068 and 4069 introduced by Representative Bronna Kahle and House Bills 4465 and 4466 introduced by Representative Yousef Rabhi were the subject of discussion in the Committee on Tax Policy in the Michigan House of Representatives. Michigan EIBC vice president Cory Connolly attended the committee meeting and spoke in support of the bills (If you missed the meeting, video will be available here in the next several days). 

The bills are familiar to Michigan EIBC and our members. They were originally introduced by Representative Barrett as House Bills 5143 and 5680 last year. Those bills were passed with overwhelming support in the House and Senate last year, but were vetoed by former Governor Rick Snyder in December of 2018. 

HB 4068 and HB 4465, like HB 5143 before them, apply to commercial and industrial properties and would exempt behind-the-meter distributed energy generation systems from real property tax assessment. It would apply to fuel cell, photovoltaic, solar-thermal, wind, CHP, microturbine, miniturbine, stirling cycle, battery cell, clean fuel, and electricity storage systems. Such an exemption was originally created through 2002 PA 549authored by Sen. Randy Richardville, but has since expired.

Under HB 4068 and HB 4465, those technologies would again be exempt from property taxes as long as they are used to generate electricity that is 1) used on-site, 2) used to offset all or a portion of the commercial or industrial energy used on that property, and 3) is no more than 150 kw. Additionally, a provision was added in committee to clarify that true cash value of eligible systems be under $80,000 (which refers to a threshold determined in MCL 211.9o which was passed in 2012). 

HB 4069 and HB 4466, like HB 5680 before them, apply to residential properties and would add alternative energy systems to the list of repairs and household upgrades that are not considered when determining the true cash value of a property for assessment purposes, until the property is sold. It does this by adding alternative energy systems to the list of “Eligible Repairs” under the Mathieu-Gast Act (MCL 277.27(2)).
Michigan EIBC sees these bills as important in providing clear and consistent tax treatment for rooftop solar in Michigan and we are eager to support these bills and their passage in the Michigan legislature.