Coalition urges Scott to sign solar bill

A diverse coalition of 16 special interests jointly asked Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday to sign a bill now on his desk that would carry out a constitutional amendment designed to expand the use of solar and other renewable-energy devices.

Ranging from the Florida Grocers Association and Florida Petroleum Marketers Association to the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy, the groups in a letter encouraged Scott to sign the measure (SB 90), which would establish rules for implementing the amendment --- approved by 72.6 percent of voters last August.

The amendment will extend a renewable-energy tax break to commercial and industrial properties.

Others signing the letter included the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the Florida Retail Federation and the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Scott has until June 20 to sign, veto or allow the measure to become law without his signature.

Since the bill was forwarded from the Legislature to Scott on June 5, the governor's office had received 963 calls and emails in support of the measure as of Tuesday afternoon.

The office had received a single letter in opposition to the bill.

The tax break would be in place for 20 years and is an extension of a break already provided to residential properties.

A selling point of the constitutional amendment was that it would make renewable-energy equipment exempt from state tangible personal property taxes.