Higgins Fights For Solar Investment Tax Credit Extension on House Floor
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke on the House floor to urge Congress to extend the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) as part of the Tax Increase Prevention and Real Estate Investment Act 2015. The bill seeks to promote economic growth by extending tax provisions that have expired or will expire in the near future. Higgins, with Rep. Richard Hanna, also led on a bipartisan letter sent to House leadership calling for the extension.
The Solar Investment Tax Credit is currently set to expire on December 31, 2016. Should the tax credits expire, the Solar Energy Industries of America and the Department of Energy anticipate an “ITC cliff” which would result in a sudden and drastic halt of solar industry growth.
In 2014, one out of every new 78 jobs was created by the solar industry. Should the tax credits expire, 90% of solar companies could go out of business.
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Text of Congressman Higgins’ remarks below:
Mr. Speaker: Noticeably absent from the tax extenders bill released this week is a provision on which 174,000 American jobs depend.
The Solar Investment Tax Credit -- a 30% credit for the installation of solar on residential and commercial properties – was implemented in 2006. The result has been annual growth of 73%.
That growth allowed the industry to develop panels that have soared in efficiency and plummeted in price. Solar is our fastest growing energy source, responsible for 40% of all new generating capacity brought online this year. And solar employment is growing at a rate 20 times higher than in the overall economy.
If the Solar Investment Tax Credit is not extended, that growth will stop. Demand will drop by 71% and 100,000 jobs will be lost. But a five year extension would create 60,000 jobs and allow the industry to come to maturity.
Mr. Speaker, tax legislation that does not include the Solar Investment Tax Credit is not serious about creating American jobs. I urge its inclusion.
Congressman Higgins recently led a coalition of over 90 members of Congress in submitting a letter to Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-8), Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, urging a long-term extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit and the Production Tax Credit. In addition, Congressman Higgins, with Rep. Richard Hanna (NY-22), introduced H.R. 3852, legislation that would show the benefits of solar net metering.