Board backs solar exemption

The Louisa County Board of Supervisors indicated they support making solar panels on residential property in Louisa County tax-exempt.

The board voted 7-0 on Feb. 3 to schedule a public hearing on adding the exemption to the county code.

Currently, the county is required to tax solar panels on or around houses. Utility-grade solar fields, such as those operated by Dominion Energy, are exempted by the state from local taxes.

Several board members said making solar tax-exempt would encourage residents to invest in panels for their homes. The board is not interested in applying a sunset clause, which would charge residents taxes after a certain number of years.  

“If we’re going to encourage people to be environmentally friendly, and we’re going to encourage people to generate their own electricity to power their house, I hope they’re still doing it 20 years from now,” said Duane Adams, Mineral district supervisor.

“Anything we can do to encourage residents to get off of the electrical grid is a good thing,” he said. “Maybe this is Louisa’s new green deal.”

There are 85 applications for solar panels that have been permitted or are in process in Louisa County. If they are taxed, the county would earn an additional $18,000 per year in revenue, according to Stacey Fletcher, the county’s commissioner of the revenue.

“Out of a $100 million budget, that’s not a lot of money and would be an accounting nightmare,” said Supervisor Toni Williams (Jackson district).

Recommended for you