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Dear Fellow Floridians, for more information about Early Voting, please refer to our Previous Post . If you have any questions about voting, please call the Election Protection hotline at: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682-Espanol.) Assistance is available in English or Spanish.
We, the Floridians, have been blessed with generous sunshine, residing in the SunShine State. In the August Primary, Floridian voters will have the opportunity to lower energy cost and boost future solar energy production in the Sunshine State by voting YES for Amendment 4 on the Primary Ballot. Amendment 4 will amend Florida’s Constitution to exempt the value of solar panels and other renewable energy equipment from both the tangible personal property tax and the real property tax. In order for Amendment 4 to become law, it must be approved by YES vote from at least 60% of the Floridian voters for the August 30 Primary Ballot.
The exact wording of Amendment 4, below (in italics):
No.4, CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ARTICLE VII, SECTION 3 AND 4 ARTICLE XII, SECTION 34
Solar Devices or Renewable Energy Source Devices;Exemption from Certain Taxation and Assessment.
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to exempt from ad valorem taxation the assessed value of solar or renewable energy source devices subject to tangible personal property tax, and to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to prohibit consideration of such devices in assessing the value of real property for ad valorem taxation purposes. This amendment takes effect January 1, 2018, and expires on December 31, 2037.
Firstly, ad valorem simply means in proportion to the value. So, Amendment 4 is proposing to remove the tax based on the value of the solar panels/renewable energy source devices and also to prevent the inclusion of these devices when assessing the value of the real property. This amendment, if passed, will enable solar energy in Florida to be much more affordable for every one (commercial, as well as residential), help to increase the number of solar jobs and further solar development in Florida tremendously , and at no cost to Florida’s taxpayers because these taxes are not being collected now.
- As we come to the final stage of fossil fuel period in history…
- as more natural disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy and Louisiana flood) occur…
- and increasing suicide rate of farmers from different parts of the world (India, Australia, etc.) resulting from extreme weather conditions due to increased rate of climate change….
- and the cost of solar and renewable energy and battery storage technology continues to decrease
It is our moral imperative to do everything possible in slowing down the current rate of climate change. It is also our sense of practicality that should direct us quickly toward transition into solar and renewable energy. The great irony in life is that: those of us in the developed nations have been contributing far more than those in developing nations to this dramatic increased rate of climate change. But when the chips are down, it is those in the developing nations and the poorest who will be suffering more. There is something terribly wrong with this picture. It would have been far more impactful if Amendment 4 were passed more than a decade ago. Voting YES for Amendment 4 now is the least that we can and should do. In addition to installing solar, I believe we should also be thinking of switching to electrical vehicles, recycle more, bike and walk more, eat less meat, etc. It is economical/practical and ethical to encourage the growth of solar and renewable energy in the Sunshine State!
Keep in mind that there are three ways to vote:
- At the polls on August 30, 2016
- Early Voting between August 15-August 28 or August 20-August 27 or……., depending on which county you are in.
- By mail starting from July 26, 2016 and be sure your mail-in ballot is received by 7:00 pm on election day, August 30, 2016. So, those of you who are planning on mailing in your ballot, be sure you do so ASAP.
For those of you interested in clean energy future, you may like to know that Florida Solar Voter is a project of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy dedicated to providing all Florida voters an easy way to sign up to vote by mail. Please feel free to contact Southern Alliance For Clean Energy via 813-252-1751 or www.CleanEnergy.org .You may also be interested in visiting Floridians For Solar Choice.
~have a bright and sunny day~
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