Lawmaker looks to carry out Amendment 4

By News Service of Florida
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Debate over the new housing amendment.

Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed a bill Thursday to carry out a renewable-energy tax break that voters approved in the August primary election.

The bill (SB 90) would enact Amendment 4, which lawmakers put before voters to extend a residential renewable-energy tax break to commercial and industrial properties.

"The voters of Florida spoke loud and clear that they expect the sunshine state to make the expansion of solar and renewable energy a priority," Brandes said in a prepared statement.

The constitutional amendment, which had bipartisan support, was placed on the primary ballot in part to avoid confusion with a controversial solar-energy initiative that failed in the November general election.

Amendment 4 was backed by 73 percent of the primary voters.

Voters approved a similar exemption for residential property owners in 2008, with the measure taking effect in 2014.

Amendment 4 also has an element to help residential property owners, as it would exempt all renewable-energy equipment from state tangible personal property taxes.

Brandes' bill, which is needed to implement the details of the amendment, is filed for the legislative session that will start March 7.

News Service of Florida