Last week Governor John Kasich signed into law with the rest of the budget a two-year extension of last session’s “Senate Bill 232,” which significantly reduced the tax burden on certain advanced energy projects. SB 232, originally sponsored by Senator Chris Widener (R-Springfield) and enacted in June 2010, exempts qualifying projects from real and personal property taxation, instead requiring project owners to make payments in lieu of taxes based on generating capacity and other factors. A summary of SB 232 is available here.
Without the extension, SB 232 was scheduled to sunset at the end of the year. Under the bill, a project must be under construction (or filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board) by January 1, 2014, and placed in service by January 1, 2015 to qualify for the tax treatment. Without the extension, a project had to be under construction by January 1, 2012, and placed in service by January 1, 2013 to qualify. The extension was included in the budget bill with the support of Senators Cliff Hite (R-Findlay), Mark Wagoner (R-Toledo) and Jimmy Stewart (R-Albany), along with Senator Widener and others.