Starting on January 1, 2008, Louisiana offered a generous tax credit for consumers purchasing residential solar energy systems for their homes, covering up to 50% of the first $25,0000 spent on rooftop solar panels. Many Louisiana residents have taken advantage of the program, but in June 2015, the Legislature imposed a cap on the program to phase out the tax credits. This cap limited the tax credits paid out to consumers to $25 million: $10 million for 2015 and 2016, and $5 million for 2017. Unfortunately, the Legislature also chose to make the caps retroactive. This meant that everyone who purchased solar energy systems prior to the rule change had to contend with new purchasers in a first-come-first-served free-for-all.
In determining the cap and applying it retroactively, the Legislature failed to consider the number of consumers with pending claims. Over 2,000 homeowners had pending claims worth over $20 million before the cap was even enacted. These homeowners were given no priority over consumers who installed their solar energy systems after the cap was enacted. While these residents were promised tax credits of up to $12,500, thousands were denied the credits they were entitled to because of the Legislature’s actions.
In July 2016, the Louisiana Department of Revenue said it was almost $30 million short of funds to pay existing claims for solar tax credits, even though the program is not scheduled to end until December 2017. While consumers who did not receive their tax credits under the 2015 or 2016 cap may still be eligible for a deferred claim under the 2017 cap, the small amount of money available has many homeowners coming to the realization that they may never see the money they were promised. This has led a group of solar panel customers to sue the state for violating their constitutional rights for imposing a retroactive cap on solar tax credits. A Louisiana solar tax credits lawsuit filed in September 2016 is seeking class-action status to recover the tax credits these homeowners are entitled to.
Get Help With Louisiana Solar Tax Credits Lawsuit
If you or someone you know purchased solar panels prior to June 19, 2015 and were denied solar energy income tax credit, please contact The Lambert Firm today at (504) 581-1750 for a consultation.