Letter: Exempt solar systems in Henniker

Friday, March 17, 2017
Exempt solar systems in Henniker

Warrant Article No. 24 on the Henniker town warrant asks voters if they will grant an exemption equal to 100 percent of the assessed valuation of solar energy systems in determining an owner’s property tax. No property taxes would be paid on solar systems. I urge voters to support this.

Even with Henniker’s current exemption of 50 percent of the assessed value of the system up to a maximum exemption of $10,000, the property tax on the remaining valuation of residential solar electric systems would be so high that people in town aren’t buying these systems.

Henniker’s tax rate of $33.33 per $1,000 of assessed valuation would require one family to pay $1,000 more in property taxes on the taxable valuation of $30,000 of a system costing $40,000. They can’t afford the extra taxes so they aren’t purchasing the system.

Solar electric systems can save families and businesses considerable money on electric bills. After federal and state incentives are applied, monthly payments on a 12-year loan for a properly sized residential system connected to the utility wires are about the same as the average electricity bill. The system usually generates all the electricity the household uses annually, so the monthly loan payments replace nearly all of the electric bill. After the loan is paid off the only payments will be small electric bills depending on usage.

Let’s join Weare, Warner, Bradford, Hillsboro, Deering and 63 other New Hampshire towns and cities and adopt a 100 percent exemption from property taxes for solar systems.

Michael C. French