State Exempts Some Solar Projects From Tax Credit Crackdown


UPDATED 12/13/12 6:30 p.m.

CORRECTION: The state tax department says that exemptions, or "letter rulings," were sent out November 29, not on Wednesday, as a previous version of this article stated.

The Hawaii Department of Taxation has exempted some solar projects from new rules that effectively limit the number of state tax credits that can be claimed on solar systems.

Mallory Fujitani, a spokeswoman for the tax department confirmed the exemptions, or "letter rulings," but said she could not disclose which projects or how many have received a reprieve because of state privacy laws that protect taxpayer information.

UPDATED But Sen. Mike Gabbard, chair of the Energy and Environment Committee, who has pushed for exemptions for solar farms that are in development, said the exception covers 12 projects, information he said was provided to him by the department.1

“The letters grandfather those companies and allow them another year to get the old tax credit amounts,” he said.

Developers of large solar projects, such as those that feed energy into the islands' electric grids, have complained openly about the new rules, saying that they could kill some of the state’s most important renewable energy projects that have been in the works for years.

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