Franklin County recently designated itself as an alternative energy zone (AEZ) under S.B. 232, a state law that significantly reduces the tax burden on renewable and advanced sources of energy production. S.B. 232 exempts qualifying energy facilities from real and personal property taxation upon meeting certain requirements. The bill reduces the tax burden on qualifying projects $6,000 – $9,000 per MW. Under S.B. 232, county commissioners can adopt a resolution declaring the county to be an AEZ. Through such a resolution, county commissioners prospectively agree to approve all applications for energy projects seeking the tax treatment under S.B. 232. The resolution designating Franklin County as an AEZ can be viewed here.

By designating itself as an AEZ, Franklin County is “making possible the installation of solar panels” on its fleet management building in Columbus, Columbus Business First reports. Under the S.B. 232 tax provisions, the owner of the 636-kilowatt solar installation at the city’s fleet management building “will make a payment of $4,452 compared with nearly $240,000 a year if the personal property tax were applied,” the article said. Although the AEZ designation was adopted by Franklin County to enable this particular solar project, county officials hope that the designation will encourage other renewable projects. For more, read the full story