Westchester County Gives Sales-Tax Break for Solar Energy Packages

Though Westchester has seen several days of rain, inevitably the sun will shine again – and with that in mind, County Executive Robert P. Astorino today (Wednesday) signed legislation designed to spur the sale of solar energy systems.

“The act signed today extends a sales-tax exemption to homeowners who install solar energy systems, which should stimulate the purchase of this equipment and help reduce reliance on non-renewable sources of energy,” said Astorino.

The provision is a local option allowed under New York State law. It was first adopted by Westchester County in 2005 and was due to expire this fall.

“So if you’ll pardon the expression, the good news about this new legislation is that it does not ‘sunset,’ ” quipped Astorino.

Any resident considering purchasing a solar energy package is urged to verify with the vendor or installer that no state or county portion of the sales tax will be collected. (Purchasers may still be liable for the sales tax collected on behalf of cities and the Metropolitan Transportation Administration.)

Astorino said he would consider legislation to exempt sales tax from other energy equipment that uses renewable energy if the state would permit it.

“This is a small but meaningful action, which is part of our effort to reduce dependence on fossil fuels,” said Astorino.

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