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California Property Tax Exemptions For Solar Energy Systems Extended To 2025 76

Posted by timothy
from the special-favors-if-you-can-get-'em dept.
New submitter DaveSmith1982 writes with word from PV Tech that A property tax exemption for solar power systems in California has been extended to 2025, following the passing of a bill as part of the annual state budget. Senate Bill 871 (SB871) was approved during the signing of the budget by governor Jerry Brown, which took place last week. The wording of SB871 extends the period during which property taxes will not be applied to "active solar energy systems," which includes PV and solar water heaters.
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California Property Tax Exemptions For Solar Energy Systems Extended To 2025

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  • Do they charge property tax for regular water heaters in California?
    • Re:Property Tax? (Score:4, Informative)

      by HornWumpus (783565) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @04:11PM (#47379355)

      Yes, but you only get reassessed when you buy/sell or add livable square footage. I don't pay property tax on my tank-less water heater.

      For example: They didn't reassess me when I added a garage/workshop with more square footage then my shack.

    • by brainboyz (114458)

      If they think it adds to the value of the house in some way, yes. They'll grasp at every last penny they can in an effort for tax money.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ichijo (607641)

        As they should, because those with the most property benefit the most from city infrastructure, police and fire services, and national defense. Our society was built upon the understanding that those who benefit the most from something should pay the most.

        • Poor people should pay more taxes to cover their benes then.

          • by Ichijo (607641)
            Maybe the poor could afford to cover their benefits if we didn't force them to live a middle-class lifestyle [citylab.com].
            • hey, nobody is forcing them not to hide in the bushes at the local park every night as a place to sleep.

          • by ultranova (717540)

            Poor people should pay more taxes to cover their benes then.

            Benefits for the poor exist to keep the rich from facing Mr. Guillotine. Or, in America specifically, a communist revolution. In a rational society they'd also exist for the sake of helping keep the economy going by keeping demand up, but the remnants of market libertarian idealism are still sufficient to keep us from tackling the current crisis efficiently in that manner.

            Peace and order only exist - an should only exist - as long as most people h

            • Aren't that many poor. And they are mostly incompetents, so revolutions run by them aren't a threat.

        • Of course, the opposite is true with solar panels, where those who install under the generous subsidy schemes benefit the most by getting a large portion of their power paid via tax credits.
        • by tomhath (637240)

          Our society was built upon the understanding that those who benefit the most from something should pay the most.

          There's no way to determine who benefits the most. Our tax structure (not our society) is built on pretending to tax those who can pay more at a higher rate, but nobody believes it actually does that.

          • by Ichijo (607641)

            That's one reason among many why taxes should be replaced with user fees whenever it's practical to do so.

        • As they should, because those with the most property benefit the most from city infrastructure, police and fire services, and national defense. Our society was built upon the understanding that those who benefit the most from something should pay the most.

          Who told you that? Our society was built on the idea people should be free, meaning free from government, meaning free from politicians and muscular interests that could twist their arm to twist everyone's arm.

          • by Dishevel (1105119)

            Who told you that? Our society was built on the idea people should be free, meaning free from government, meaning free from politicians and muscular interests that could twist their arm to twist everyone's arm.

            Correct. It was built on exactly those things.

            It will be destroyed on the idea that rights are given, not recognized. That responsibility is only for the rich. That freedom is only important till someone is offended. That making everyone have an equal amount of stuff trumps recognizing that everyone is equal. That government knows best and every person and every government is equally exceptional.

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        They'll grasp at every last penny they can in an effort for tax money.

        Kind of ironic, since the story involves California, which has Prop 13.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

    • by HaeMaker (221642)
      Yes... for Businesses. Businesses pay on all capital assets, not just real property. Individuals do not pay property taxes on durable goods, so this only applies to businesses.
  • It only means you don't really own your property. You are leasing it from the government. That's insane.

    • by istartedi (132515) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @05:17PM (#47379805) Journal

      In a system with no property tax, there would be no disincentive to hoard property. This could have serious consequences for the economy. Imagine section after section of productive timber land being held simply on spec, while lumber prices soar..

      If you're going to own real property, there's a general consensus that you should put it to productive use, or forfeit. Thus, that vacant lot in the city starts costing you... so you sell it off instead of holding it forever, and then somebody accumulates the lots, options an adjacent lot, gets plans approved for an apartment and... productive use.

      Also, property tax is "progressive" in the sense that it's paid by people that have more wealth. Compare and contrast with sales tax which is "regressive"--taking a heavy toll on the poor.

      Now of course all the "shrink government to the size of a thimble" people are going to come out of the woodwork. Sorry. It just isn't practical in the 21st century. We are not living in the days when bands of "Indians" with bow and arrow or colonists with muskets gave the British a run for their money. .

      • In a system with a property tax their is disincentive to improve you property.

        Raw land value should be taxed (obviously at a higher rate).

        • by istartedi (132515)

          That's land value tax [wikipedia.org].

        • by Ichijo (607641)

          In a system with a property tax their is disincentive to improve you property.

          That's only when the property tax is based on the assessed value of the property instead of the property's burden on infrastructure and city services.

      • by fnj (64210)

        In a system with no property tax, there would be no disincentive to hoard property.

        So? I apologize in advance; there is no way to say this politely; you can take your loaded term "hoard" as well as your consensus and your bowing and scraping to government, and stuff them. You started the name-calling when you characterized real property ownership as "hoarding".

        If you get off on seeing people's wealth seized by force and redistributed, fine; viewpoints and opinions are the most basic rights everyone has. But

        • by istartedi (132515)

          Very well, In a system with no property tax, there would be no disincentive to [ synonyms: stockpile, store, store up, stock up on, put aside, put by, lay by, lay up, set aside, stow away, buy up; cache, amass, collect, save, gather, garner, accumulate, squirrel away, put aside for a rainy day; informalstash away, salt away "they hoarded rations" ] please choose the preferred term which you regard as "unloaded". (synonyms courtesy of Google's dictionary).

          If you get off on seeing people's wealth seized by

        • by unimacs (597299)

          In a system with no property tax, there would be no disincentive to hoard property.

          So? I apologize in advance; there is no way to say this politely; you can take your loaded term "hoard" as well as your consensus and your bowing and scraping to government, and stuff them. You started the name-calling when you characterized real property ownership as "hoarding".

          If you get off on seeing people's wealth seized by force and redistributed, fine; viewpoints and opinions are the most basic rights everyone has. But if you give support and comfort to those doing the seizing, expect a little blowback.

          Now, if you want to get to basics and discuss the pros and cons of allowing private ownership of what is called "real property" (basically land) in the first place, that is fair game.

          I don't think istartedi was characterizing property ownership as hoarding at all. Hoarding would be buying up a ton of property with no intent to do anything with it. This would drive up property costs for anyone else wanting to buy in the area. Without property taxes, one or two people with enough capital could buy up most of the land in a region and then charge of whatever they felt like to other potential buyers. Or they could basically price things out of anybody's reach and rent out the property instea

          • by istartedi (132515)

            Well said. Mere ownership of property isn't hoarding. Hoarding is cornering the market.

          • Simple to fix: unimproved land is taxed, land with improvements is not taxed.

            You could go one further, and this would make sense much like not taxing food, that land which sole purpose is to provide housing to the property owners is not taxed, commercial land and unimproved land is taxed.

      • For all intensive purposes, "whom" is no longer a word. That begs the question, "who cares"?

        For all intents and purposes, "all intensive purposes" is illiterate. Which begs the question, "is anyone literate to notice, much less care?"

      • by tomhath (637240)

        If you're going to own real property, there's a general consensus that you should put it to productive use, or forfeit.

        There is no such general consensus; in fact that's a foolish utopian statement. Real property is a place to invest money. Taxes lower the return on that investment - but if you are not putting it to productive use there is no reason to continue that investment so it would be sold anyway. Market forces rule.

    • by TarPitt (217247)

      Actually, that is the historical origination of private property under the English system. This was also the case with "empty" land (meaning devoid of Europeans) annexed by the US throughout its history. Original owner was the Federal government, which then delegated ownership to others (railroads, homesteaders) by deeding the property to them provided certain obligations were met (build a railroad, occupy and cultivate the land, etc.).

      The idea that private ownership of land precedes government is a weird

    • by ultranova (717540)

      It only means you don't really own your property. You are leasing it from the government. That's insane.

      What do you mean, "own"? You can't mean possession - you aren't carrying your solar power system with you, after all. So why should your claim to "own" something trump any competing claims? And even if they did, why would that matter - do you expect other people to enforce your claims?

      That's why a system that lets you "own" anything you aren't carrying with you at all times inevitably picks up aspects of

  • tax breaks on upper-middle class and rich people using an otherwise-uneconomical energy source...

    Just like the electric car subsidies that help rich people buy a Tesla or Fisker as their 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc car (which the upper classes COULD afford on their own but choose not to without the subsidies "because they're too expensive") while the poorer part of the population is left with old, inefficient, expensive-to-operate "clunkers".

    If the party of "Tax the Rich!" TRULY wants to actively subsidize things lik

    • You can never tax the rich or churches as they write the tax codes.
    • AC runs an off shore tax shelter and is trying to drum up business.

    • by unimacs (597299)
      We subsidize other forms of power generation constantly buy forcing the public to pay for all the externalities. If the power companies had to pay for all the costs related to mining, drilling, transporting, and burning fossil fuels, renewables would make a lot more economic sense even without the incentives.
      What has it really cost us to keep the oil flowing out of the Middle East? What about the environmental and health impacts of burning fossil fuels? Who is paying for that?
      • by tomhath (637240)

        Who is paying for that?

        You wrote that on a computer most likely powered by fossil fuels, and posted on a web site almost certainly powered by fossil fuels, on an Internet developed by defense spending. So look in a mirror for the answer to your question.

        • by unimacs (597299)
          I'm not sure what your point is exactly. If by "look in the mirror" you mean that I'm paying for those externalities, I agree. We pay for them through higher taxes, higher health care and insurance costs, among other ways.

          And for the record I don't mind spending money on necessary defense. I do have trouble with the idea of propping up unpopular leaders of questionable ethics in exchange for short term stability and cheap gas prices. You can argue that it's necessary but either way we still pay for it. I
  • ...for the affluent. Wondeful. I'm so sick of California.
  • All these green energy subsidies have to stop. I believe we've past the tipping point years ago that green energy technology needed government money for development. Perhaps it was five years ago, maybe it was fifty, but we don't need to give rich people money to buy solar panels they'd be buying anyway.

    Solar panels reduce carbon released into the environment, we know that. Solar panels save money for those people that can afford to buy them. What we have now are tax avoidance schemes for rich people.

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