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Solar tax opt-out in Evans causes stir

Posted at 11:54 PM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-11 23:54:47-05

Going green in the Town of Evans could soon be a little pricier. The Town of Evans is look to opt-out of a 40 year old state law that provides businesses and homeowners a tax exemption for their use of solar or wind.

According to the town supervisor, the town is looking to do this because they have received offers from over half dozen solar companies wanting to set up large solar farms. Right now, any future solar farm would be untaxed by the town. That wouldn't help the already financially struggling town budget. 

“Our board is for clean renewable energy, but we have to understand first where we need it, where we want it and what the residents are really looking for,” said Evans Supervisor Mary Hosler.

Wednesday night, dozens of residents spoke against the plan, fearing the opt-out would mean taxes for anyone looking to use renewable energy at their home.

“You cannot just tax the large solar companies. You have to tax everyone,” said Bill Henry about the opt-out. 

“We want to see our planet and our communities thrive. So, if our community isn't going to be a solar or renewable energy advocate, then we're not going to move here,” said Laura Matthews of Collegiate Solar. 

There will be another public hearing about the tax exemption opt-out next Wednesday at 7 at the Evans Town Hall.