We are living in a crisis of climate change. Average temperatures are rising as we are experiencing this winter. The data is available and is addressed on the front page of this issue of Green Energy Times. It is important that we are all encouraged to act now on reducing our carbon footprint. The Federal government understands this urgency as we reenter the Paris Agreement and extensions are made to tax credits on renewable energy systems with the addition of biomass heating to this group. What some of us are not seeing is the same urgency on the local level.
Green Energy Times was contacted from a resident in Lempster, NH regarding a new real estate tax evaluation on his solar panels. He estimated the increase to be so high that it would be more economical to remove the panels. This is the completely opposite direction from the one we need to move in. Our local governments need to encourage renewable energy projects and offer tax credits or abatements. Perhaps things have improved in Lempster by the time of this writing.
With a little research and effort, you can educate your local government on the benefits of renewable energy systems and the reasons they should be exempted from taxes. A petition warrant article can be submitted for the annual town meeting. There is information on how to do this on this page of the New Hampshire Office of Strategic Initiatives’ website at http://bit.ly/NHEnergySavingIncentives. If your city or town does not currently offer such exemptions, see the procedures for adopting local property tax exemptions (http://bit.ly/NHAdpotPropertyTaxExemptions) and the sample warrant article (http://bit.ly/NHSampleWarrantArticle) for adopting the renewable energy property tax exemptions. Local officials may be unaware of exemptions, as some have been adopted as long as thirty years ago.