The Ohio Senate on Tuesday, May 18, passed by a vote of 28 to 4 Senate Bill 232, which would exempt qualifying renewable and advanced energy projects from property taxation. In lieu of property tax, an owner of such a facility would make annual service payments equal to $7,000 per megawatt of the facility's generating capacity. The version of the bill that passed the Senate includes a significant new requirement that was absent in the as-introduced version: in addition to receiving approval from the Ohio Director of Development, an owner of an eligible facility would also have to receive the approval of the board of county commissioners in any county in which the facility is located. Importantly, commissioners would be able to add additional requirements to the certification process. A copy of the bill can be found here.
S.B. 232 also contains provisions that would expand special improvement district energy projects and the municipal solar energy revolving loan program--established in 2009--to include energy efficiency, and advanced and renewable energy projects. S.B. 232 now goes to the Ohio House, which is considering its own tax-exemption bill for renewable projects. That bill, H.B. 464, would cover only wind and solar projects.