With IA Solar Tax Credit Expiring, Focus on Backlog of Payments | News

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(KMAland) – Iowa’s tax credit for installing solar power systems is no longer in place, but lawmakers still face pressure to provide payments to those who were on a list waiting.

The credit was allowed to expire at the end of 2021 – and with money set aside for residential installments already spent, those who applied but weren’t paid were out of luck.

The Iowa Department of Revenue says more than 1,400 requests were ultimately refused. But Nick Summers – policy organizing assistant at the Center for Rural Affairs – said these landlords had each made a substantial investment, hoping it would be matched by credit.

“The state isn’t living up to its end of the deal,” Summers said. “And we know the state has the wherewithal to pay for that, because the state of Iowa is sitting on a $1.2 billion surplus.”

This estimate of the surplus was released in the fall, and larger numbers are now being presented as the legislative session begins.

The credit for installing a residential solar system averaged $3,200, with an average installation cost of over $25,000. During the debate over extending the credit, Republican lawmakers suggested it did not align with the need to implement broader tax relief.

Slater resident Lee Tesdell had received credits for solar power installations on his farm, although he had to go to court to get the second payout. He called the abolition of payments “short-sighted”, noting that gains in renewable energy cannot come from large wind and solar farms alone.

“It seems to me that the state would be wise to encourage the distributed type,” Tesdell said, “so that individuals can make some of their own electricity at home.”

He said that, combined with federal credits, the Iowa refunds covered a significant portion of his investments.

Meanwhile, the state says companies on the waiting list will still get their credits, but no new projects can be added.

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