Solar tax credit flies through Senate committee

A day after the House version of the legislation narrowly passed a committee, an identical bill to extend the state’s solar tax credit had a much more comfortable reception in the Senate. The Senate Conservation Committee passed the bill on an 8-1 vote. The opposition to the legislation did not stem from the merits of the bill itself, but rather concerns about using tax credits at all. The legislation is the same as what passed last year, and Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, described it as a compromise with the House Ways and Means Committee. The compromise is from a “step-down” which would lower the tax credit as years go on, from the current ten percent down to 5 percent after eight years.

House Energy committee clears solar tax bill

The House Energy and Natural Resources Committee narrowly passed a bill to extend the state’s solar energy tax credit for another eight years. Two Albuquerque Republicans, one of whom is co-sponsoring the measure, supported the bill while all GOP representatives from rural communities opposed it. The final tally was 6-4. Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes, R-Albuquerque, is carrying the bill in the House, with Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque as a cosponsor. “I see this bill as critical in terms of maintaining a key area of our economy,” Maestas Barnes said.