Mainers! Apply by April 1 for Municipal Solar Tax Exemption
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Part of a powerful package of solar bills passed in 2019 was a law that offers an exemption to local property tax on solar projects in Maine. To receive this exemption, you need to file a form with your local Tax Assessor by April 1, 2020 – luckily you only need to do this once during the lifetime of your system.
As a courtesy, ReVision Energy is providing information on applying for this exemption and the form via MRS. However note that this is not official tax guidance, and any questions should be guided to Maine Revenue Services – 207-624-9784. You will also be able to find the Renewable Energy Investment Exemption Application on the MRS website, or you can download it from the embedded PDF below.
Who needs to fill this out?
Any owner of a solar energy system wishing to enjoy the property tax exemption – you need to fill this out regardless of the age of your system. If you live in one of the many towns in Maine that have not been assessing/taxing solar energy systems, you should still file an exemption as your town may begin to at some point.
How do I file this?
Per the instructions on the form, this needs to be filed with your local Tax Assessor (or with the State Tax Assessor if property is in an unorganized territory).
Do I need to fill this out every year?
No, just one time for the life of the system.
Guide to understanding the Renewable Energy Tax Exemption Application:
The instructions on the form encourage you to fill it out as completely as possible, but Maine Revenue Services recognizes that not every customer will be able to fill out the form completely, and so the instructions also say that if you do not know an answer it is okay to leave it blank. At the very least you will need to fill out your name, address, tax information, system size, cost and age of the system. We encourage you to do your best to fill out the rest of the form based on the instructions and the additional guidance provided here.
Many instructions are self-explanatory, but we have some clarifications and suggestions to offer. We’ll begin at Line 6:
Most of the information, including gross cost of system, net cost of system, estimate annual generation, system size, date connected, etc. can be found in your ReVision Energy proposal (if you don’t have your proposal anymore, just get in touch with us and we can locate a copy for you from our files!).
Found in your proposal.
Found in your proposal, or can be found in your SolarEdge monitoring.
If you sell RECs and feel like you have a good estimate for their future value, enter it here. Otherwise leave this blank.
Lines 10 & 11
Found in your proposal. The headline number is the DC system size, and the inverter size is the AC system size.
Unless you know otherwise, write “25 years.”
Use your module warranty number, or leave this blank.
Use the diagram to the right to estimate the angle of your roof.
Estimate the compass direction of your array.
The form’s instruction for 19 is incorrect. Your inverter size is the same as your AC system size.
Found in your proposal.
If you’ve had an inverter replaced under warranty, do not check “Yes.”
This won’t be in your proposal. Either enter the warranty term, or just leave this blank.
This is asking for your estimate of the future cost of inverter replacement. If unknown, it is okay to leave it blank. Alternatively, you can ballpark the price at something like 20-30 cents/watt. So for a 5,000 W inverter, the estimate might be $1,000-$1,500.