Solar tax credit rollback approved

A solar energy tax credit would be phased out by 2020 under a bill approved in the Louisiana House on Tuesday.

The House voted 95-1 for the measure which sponsor state Rep. Erich Ponti said is backed by the industry.

Under House Bill 705, the tax credit would drop 35 percent in 2016 and then go away entirely by 2020.

“The solar panel industry says they can phase out because costs have become more affordable,” said Ponti, R-Baton Rouge.

State Rep. Eddie Lambert, R-Prairieville, asked how much the tax break was costing Louisiana annually.

Ponti replied $24 million in 2012.

Lambert questioned whether the state got that much in return as a result of industry business.

“I think there’s a positive impact,” said Ponti. But, he added, probably not to the $24 million level in jobs and paychecks.

The bill now moves to the state Senate.