Officially there is no longer a property tax exemption for solar energy products installed on Florida properties. It’s a long story, but the bottom line is that a once-in-place exemption disappeared because of some technicalities in the wording up in Tallahassee. Despite the fact that Florida voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot amendment to retain the property tax exemption in 2008, the Florida Legislature failed to enact the law three years in a row, ignoring the Florida voters.
There is good news on two fronts.
First, Senator Jack Latvala submitted a bill in late August 2011 that would define the renewable energy products exempt from property tax assessments, and provide for such exemption. It looks like the bill is going to be heard in committee on October 19, 2011. That’s a step in the right direction! The summary and full text of the bill can be found here.
Second, the Lee County and Collier County property appraisers appear to have no interest in assessing solar energy equipment installed in homes in their counties. I am not sure about Charlotte County, but I have not heard anything to suggest that homeowners are being assessed for solar energy products there, either.
If all goes well, property tax exemptions for solar energy products will be enacted into law once again and solar products will be officially exempt from property tax. If you or anyone you know has been assessed for solar improvements at their property, I would like to hear from you, but I would be very surprised if I did.