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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure buildup; and a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

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Donald Trump is formally put up for GOP nomination and picks Ohio Senator J.D. Vance as his running mate. Former presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy and swing state delegates consider ticket.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

New law expands NYC solar property-tax abatement

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Tuesday, October 3, 2023   

A recently signed law expands New York City's solar property tax abatement. This four year tax abatement allows for the construction of solar generating systems with residential and commercial buildings in the city. Building owners would end up saving more than $62,000 per year. The new legislation expands the abatement from 20% to 30% starting in 2024.

Noah Ginsburg, executive director of the New York Solar Energy Industries Association, said this can help make up any lost progress in the city's goal to reach 1-gigawatt of solar by 2030.

"The city has made some good progress toward that goal, but I don't think they were on track to achieve that goal necessarily," Ginsburg said. "This expanded incentive we think puts us more on track to hit that goal. Our forecast is that this will help close that gap by about 95 megawatts, give or take."

While this bill has its own benefits, it can boost other climate legislation in the city. A bill has recently been proposed by City Councilmember Sandy Nurse to get 100 megawatts of solar on city-owned buildings by 2025. By 2030, the bill expands that target to 150 megawatts into private buildings.

Despite the benefits it poses, the abatement was only extended to 2034, at which point legislation will have to extend it again. Ginsburg said that is due to keeping the city's funding in line with federal programs, and added there are plans to introduce a bill to strengthen the state's residential solar tax credit.

"So, anywhere in New York State, today, if you install solar panels on your home, you're entitled to a tax credit of up to 25% of the cost of the system," he explained. "That incentive is capped at $5,000 per household, and that cap hasn't increased since 2006."

Ginsburg noted this proposed legislation would be an inflation adjustment to the incentive cap, and hopes to see the bill before the State Legislature in next year's session.


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