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Bill Detail: SB20-168

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Title Sustainable Severance & Property Tax Policies
Status Senate Committee on Appropriations Postpone Indefinitely (06/13/2020)
Bill Subjects
  • Fiscal Policy & Taxes
  • Local Government
House Sponsors A. Valdez (D)
Senate Sponsors B. Pettersen (D)
C. Hansen (D)
House Committee
Senate Committee Transportation and Energy
Date Introduced 02/18/2020

The bill modifies the community solar garden property tax
exemption, which exempts the percentage of alternating current electricity
capacity of a community solar garden that is attributed to subscribers who
are tax exempt, by:
  • Extending the exemption for 5 more property tax years
(section 1 of the bill); and

  • Expanding the exemption to apply to a community solar
garden that is a solar energy facility, which is assessed
statewide (section 2).
For the period that the exemption is extended, the state will
reimburse local governments for the lost property tax revenues that result
from the newly expanded credit. These payments will be made from the
sustainable energy tax policy fund, which consists of the increased
revenue as a result of changes to the coal tax made in sections 4 and 5,
and the general fund if there is insufficient money in the fund.
In years when the state is required to refund excess state revenues
under section 20 of article X of the state constitution (TABOR), the
reimbursements to the counties are a TABOR refund mechanism. This
refund mechanism only applies after the refunds made to counties for the
reimbursements for the senior homestead exemption (sections 1 and 6).
Locally assessed solar energy facilities are valued by assessors
using valuation procedures developed by the property tax administrator
(administrator). Currently, the administrator is required to utilize a cost
approach to valuation for all renewable energy facilities. This valuation
currently involves a tax factor based on a 20-year period. Section 2
extends this period by 10 years and specifies that after the 30 years, a tax
factor is not applied and the taxable value shall not exceed the
depreciated value floor calculated using the cost basis method. Under
section 3, the administrator will be required to utilize the income
approach used for solar energy facilities for a renewable energy facility
that would qualify as a solar energy facility if it generated more energy,
so that all similar facilities will be valued in the same manner.
For purposes of the severance tax on coal, beginning July 1, 2021,
section 4 eliminates the quarterly exemption on the first 300,000 tons of
coal and the credit for coal produced from underground mines and for the
production of lignitic coal. Prior to June 30, 2026, the additional
severance tax that results from these changes will be credited to the
sustainable energy policy fund, and thereafter it is allocated like other
severance tax revenue (section 5).

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (06/11/2020) (most recent)  
Additional Bill Documents Bill Documents
  • Past bill versions
  • Past fiscal notes
  • Committee activity and documents
  • Bill History
Lobbyists Lobbyists
Votes House and Senate Votes
Vote Totals Vote Totals by Party
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