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Commonwealth's Counties

VACo supports County authority to determine local tax incentives for large solar projects

SB 800 (Lewis) advances the expiration date of the state-mandated 80 percent tax exemption from Machinery and Tool Tax (M&T) for utility-scale solar projects greater than 20 megawatts (MW) from 2024 to 2021. The legislation has been heard in the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee two weeks in a row with VACo speaking in support of the measure both times. A final hearing and vote on the bill are scheduled for the morning of Wednesday February 5.

ACTION REQUIRED – Contact Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee Members today and express your support for SB 800.

This proposed change will allow Counties to decide by local ordinance, as is allowed under Virginia law, to determine at their discretion a lower M&T rate for projects greater than 20 MW in generating capacity. Successful legislation supported by VACo in 2018 returned this authority to counties for projects 150 MW or larger in capacity in advance of the 2024 expiration date.


  • The state-mandated exemption from local tax has resulted in significant loss of both current and future revenues that would otherwise be utilized to fund state-mandated services such as public education, public safety, and human services.
  • This bill allows localities, at their discretion, to provide a tax incentive for these larger installations.


SENATE FINANCE AND APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE: Howell (Chair), Saslaw, Norment, Hanger, Lucas, Newman, Ruff, Vogel, Barker, Edwards, Deeds, Locke, Petersen, Marsden, Ebbin, McClellan

Email entire committee at once – Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee

VACo Contacts: Joe Lerch, AICP and Chris McDonald, Esq.

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