In 1980, voters approved Proposition 7 (SCA 28) which amended section 2(c) of article XIII A of the California Constitution and gave the Legislature the authority to exclude construction of active solar energy systems from property tax assessment. This exclusion is incorporated in Revenue and Taxation Code section 73 which provides that the term newly constructed does not include the construction or addition of any active solar energy system for property tax purposes.
There are a number of resources currently available to provide guidance to California County Assessors' staff on the proper procedures associated with applying the exclusion. In addition, the resources can be used to inform taxpayers of the benefit. We hope that the below information will be useful in promoting uniformity in the implementation of the new construction exclusion for active solar energy systems.
Guidelines for Active Solar Energy Systems New Construction Exclusion were approved by the Members of the State Board of Equalization on November 15, 2012 following an extensive process involving interaction of Board staff with government officials and the public.
Letters To Assessors (LTAs) provide an ongoing advisory service for county assessors and others interested in the property tax system in California. The letters present Board staff's interpretation of rules, laws, and court decisions on property tax assessment. The following LTAs pertain to assessment or procedural issues involving solar energy system properties in California.
|Letter to Assessor||Date||Title|
|80/182||12/9/80||New Construction/Solar Exemption|
|81/10||1/20/81||Solar Energy System|
|81/71||6/19/81||Solar Energy Exemption and Windmills|
|81/94||8/13/81||Assembly Bill 375, Active Solar Energy System|
|90/79||12/13/90||Sunset of Solar Exclusion from New Construction|
|91/51||6/21/91||Active Solar Energy Systems, Exclusion of Certain New Construction from Assessment|
|95/04||1/16/95||Sunset Date of Active Solar Energy Systems|
|2004/051||9/20/04||Solar Energy New Construction Exclusion|
|2005/056||9/22/05||Extension of Solar Energy New Construction Exclusion|
|2008/037||5/21/08||Solar Energy Property Tax Incentive|
|2008/071||12/15/08||Solar Energy System Exclusion Form|
|2011/030||8/12/11||Solar Energy Property Tax Incentive – Recent Legislation|
|2013/063||12/16/13||Solar Energy Systems on Nonprofit Properties|
|2013/042||9/23/13||Solar Energy Systems: Construction in Progress and the Sunset Date|
|2014/037||8/8/14||Active Solar Energy System New Construction Exclusion: Sunset Date Extension|
|2015/007||1/21/15||Active Solar Energy System Exclusion and Section 69.5. Base Year Value Transfer Claims|
Frequently asked questions and answers pertaining to active solar energy systems in California.
Annotated legal opinions are summaries of the conclusions reached in selected legal rulings of California State Board of Equalization counsel. The following legal opinions pertain to questions involving active solar energy systems:
|Annotated Legal Opinion||Date||Title|
|610.0085||4/11/86||Solar Energy System Exclusion|
|610.0087||1/17/2006||Solar Energy System Exclusion|
|610.0088||9/17/2008||Solar Energy System Exclusion|
|610.0089||6/11/2012||Solar Energy System Exclusion|
|610.0090||2/5/2013||Solar Energy System Exclusion|
|660.0270||4/4/2011||Solar Power Taxable Possessory Interests|
|610.0091||1/13/2014||Solar Energy System Exclusion|
|610.0092||2/20/2014||Solar Energy System Exclusion|