Tennessee Solar Tax Breaks May Violate State Constitution

Nov 5, 2012

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Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper says a tax break for the solar industry violates the state constitution. Cooper tells The Tennessean that the issue with the tax break is that it favors certain taxpayers.

He cites a provision of the constitution that prohibits lawmakers from passing legislation that allows one group of taxpayers to opt out of paying property taxes. The newspaper reports that Cooper's announcement on Friday jeopardizes the credit's future viability and is likely to reinvigorate efforts to roll back the measure and replace it. Former Governor Phil Bredesen pushed the credit and two others through the legislature as his administration came to an end, actions that raised questioned weeks later when Bredesen and two aides started a solar energy company. The other credits haven't been challenged.