Making progress in the House

BY State Rep. Bruce Sassmann, Missouri’s 62nd District
Posted 3/30/22

We’re making progress in the House and putting pressure on the Senate.

This past week, we sent 10 new bills to the Senate for their discussion and debate. Three more perfected bills are …

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Making progress in the House

Posted

We’re making progress in the House and putting pressure on the Senate.

This past week, we sent 10 new bills to the Senate for their discussion and debate. Three more perfected bills are waiting for third read in the House before being dropped off on the doorstep of the upper chamber. There’s a lot more to do before session ends on May 13.

Two identical bills caught my attention this week.

HB 1997 and HB 2167 are related to solar energy tax policy. In the early days of alternative energy, solar panels were encouraged and incentivized for use on residential properties. In 2013, Missouri passed legislation to exempt solar energy equipment from property taxes.

Ten years later, well-funded companies have used this provision in the state tax code to create tax-exempt solar farms in rural Missouri. Single family residential homes are no longer the primary beneficiary of this exemption. These solar farms are taking over agricultural landscapes to create for-profit utility companies.

Representative Kent Haden, sponsor of HB 1997, learned of a proposal to develop over 6,000 acres of solar farms in his legislative district. Federal tax credits further incentivize the creation of these massive solar farms, and diminish tax revenue required to support local governments. 

A solar farm in Nixa has become a battleground for this debate. A similar argument has been made in Rolla. 

Conversations about eliminating the solar tax exemption have become more common in almost every county. A level playing field regarding taxation is at the heart of the battle between tradition energy systems and new alternative energy systems.

The legislature is in the process of creating a new task force to carefully examine these issues. This new task force will likely offer some solutions before the next legislative session begins January 2023.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office.

(State Rep. Bruce Sassmann, a Republican from Bland, may be reached at 573-751-1344, or via email to bruce.sassmann@house.mo.gov). 

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