Sen. Don Harmon

Filed: 5/1/2018





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 486, AS AMENDED, by
3replacing everything after the enacting clause with the
5    "Section 5. The Property Tax Code is amended by changing
6Section 10-5 and by adding Division 20 of Article 10 as
8    (35 ILCS 200/10-5)
9    Sec. 10-5. Solar energy systems; definitions. It is the
10policy of this State that the use of solar energy systems
11should be encouraged because they conserve nonrenewable
12resources, reduce pollution and promote the health and
13well-being of the people of this State, and should be valued in
14relation to these benefits.
15    (a) "Solar energy" means radiant energy received from the
16sun at wave lengths suitable for heat transfer, photosynthetic



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1use, or photovoltaic use.
2    (b) "Solar collector" means
3        (1) An assembly, structure, or design, including
4    passive elements, used for gathering, concentrating, or
5    absorbing direct and indirect solar energy, specially
6    designed for holding a substantial amount of useful thermal
7    energy and to transfer that energy to a gas, solid, or
8    liquid or to use that energy directly; or
9        (2) A mechanism that absorbs solar energy and converts
10    it into electricity; or
11        (3) A mechanism or process used for gathering solar
12    energy through wind or thermal gradients; or
13        (4) A component used to transfer thermal energy to a
14    gas, solid, or liquid, or to convert it into electricity.
15    (c) "Solar storage mechanism" means equipment or elements
16(such as piping and transfer mechanisms, containers, heat
17exchangers, or controls thereof, and gases, solids, liquids, or
18combinations thereof) that are utilized for storing solar
19energy, gathered by a solar collector, for subsequent use.
20    (d) "Solar energy system" means
21        (1)(A) A complete assembly, structure, or design of
22    solar collector, or a solar storage mechanism, which uses
23    solar energy for generating electricity that is primarily
24    consumed on the property on which the solar energy system
25    resides, or for heating or cooling gases, solids, liquids,
26    or other materials for the primary benefit of the property



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1    on which the solar energy system resides;
2        (B) The design, materials, or elements of a system and
3    its maintenance, operation, and labor components, and the
4    necessary components, if any, of supplemental conventional
5    energy systems designed or constructed to interface with a
6    solar energy system; and
7        (C) Any legal, financial, or institutional orders,
8    certificates, or mechanisms, including easements, leases,
9    and agreements, required to ensure continued access to
10    solar energy, its source, or its use in a solar energy
11    system, and including monitoring and educational elements
12    of a demonstration project.
13        (2) "Solar energy system" does not include
14            (A) Distribution equipment that is equally usable
15        in a conventional energy system except for those
16        components of the equipment that are necessary for
17        meeting the requirements of efficient solar energy
18        utilization; and
19            (B) Components of a solar energy system that serve
20        structural, insulating, protective, shading,
21        aesthetic, or other non-solar energy utilization
22        purposes, as defined in the regulations of the
23        Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; and .
24            (C) A commercial solar energy system, as defined by
25        this Code, in counties with fewer than 3,000,000
26        inhabitants.



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1        (3) The solar energy system shall conform to the
2    standards for those systems established by regulation of
3    the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
4(Source: P.A. 94-793, eff. 5-19-06.)
5    (35 ILCS 200/Art. 10 Div. 20 heading new)
Division 20. Commercial Solar Energy Systems

7    (35 ILCS 200/10-720 new)
8    Sec. 10-720. Definitions. For the purpose of this Division
10    "Allowance for physical depreciation" means (i) the actual
11age in years of the commercial solar energy system on the
12assessment date divided by 25 years, multiplied by (ii) its
13trended real property cost basis. The physical depreciation,
14however, may not reduce the value of the commercial solar
15energy system to less than 30% of its trended real property
16cost basis.
17    "Commercial solar energy system" means any device or
18assembly of devices that (i) is ground installed and (ii) uses
19solar energy from the sun for generating electricity for the
20primary purpose of wholesale or retail sale and not primarily
21for consumption on the property on which the device or devices
23    "Commercial solar energy system real property cost basis"
24means the owner of a commercial solar energy system's interest



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1in the land within the project boundaries and real property
2improvements and shall be calculated at $199,000 per megawatt
3of nameplate capacity. For the purposes of this Section,
4"nameplate capacity" has the same definition as found in
5Section 1-10 of the Illinois Power Agency Act.
6    "Ground installed" means the installation of a commercial
7solar energy system, with the primary purpose of solar energy
8generation for wholesale or retail sale, on a parcel or tract
9of land.
10    "Trended real property cost basis" means the commercial
11solar energy system real property cost basis multiplied by the
12trending factor.
13    "Trending factor" means a number equal to the Consumer
14Price Index (U.S. city average all items) published by the
15Bureau of Labor Statistics for the December immediately
16preceding the assessment date, divided by the Consumer Price
17Index (U.S. city average all items) published by the Bureau of
18Labor Statistics for December of 2017.
19    (35 ILCS 200/10-725 new)
20    Sec. 10-725. Improvement valuation of commercial solar
21energy systems in counties with fewer than 3,000,000
22inhabitants. Beginning in assessment year 2018, the fair cash
23value of commercial solar energy system improvements in
24counties with fewer than 3,000,000 inhabitants shall be
25determined by subtracting the allowance for physical



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1depreciation from the trended real property cost basis.
2Functional obsolescence and external obsolescence of the solar
3energy device may further reduce the fair cash value of the
4commercial solar energy system improvements, to the extent they
5are proved by the taxpayer by clear and convincing evidence.
6    (35 ILCS 200/10-730 new)
7    Sec. 10-730. Exempt properties. The provisions of this
8Division do not apply to commercial solar energy systems that
9are owned by any person or entity that is otherwise exempt from
10taxation under this Code.
11    (35 ILCS 200/10-735 new)
12    Sec. 10-735. Commercial solar energy systems not subject to
13equalization. Commercial solar energy systems assessable under
14this Division are not subject to equalization factors applied
15by the Department or any board of review, assessor, or chief
16county assessment officer.
17    (35 ILCS 200/10-740 new)
18    Sec. 10-740. Survey for ground installed commercial solar
19energy systems; parcel identification numbers for property
20improved with a ground installed commercial solar energy
21system. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the owner
22of the ground installed commercial solar energy system shall
23commission a metes and bounds survey description of the land



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1upon which the commercial solar energy system is installed,
2including access routes, over which the owner of the commercial
3solar energy system has exclusive control. The owner of the
4ground installed commercial solar energy system shall, at his
5or her own expense, use an Illinois-registered land surveyor to
6prepare the survey. The owner of the ground installed
7commercial solar energy system shall deliver a copy of the
8survey to the chief county assessment officer and to the owner
9of the land upon which the ground installed commercial solar
10energy system is constructed. Upon receiving a copy of the
11survey, the chief county assessment officer shall issue
12separate parcel identification numbers for the real property
13improvements and the land containing the ground installed
14commercial solar energy system to be used only for the purposes
15of property assessment for taxation. The property records shall
16contain the legal description of the commercial solar energy
17system parcel and describe any leasehold interest or other
18interest of the owner of the commercial solar energy system in
19the property. A plat prepared under this Section shall not be
20construed as a violation of the Plat Act.
21    (35 ILCS 200/10-745 new)
22    Sec. 10-745. Real estate taxes. Notwithstanding the
23provisions of Section 9-175 of this Code, the owner of the
24commercial solar energy system shall be liable for the real
25estate taxes for the land and real property improvements of a



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1ground installed commercial solar energy system.
2Notwithstanding the forgoing, the owner of the land upon which
3a commercial solar energy system is installed may pay any
4unpaid tax of the commercial solar energy system parcel prior
5to the initiation of any tax sale proceedings.
6    (35 ILCS 200/10-750 new)
7    Sec. 10-750. Property assessed as farmland.
8Notwithstanding any other provision of law, real property
9assessed as farmland in accordance with Section 10-110 in the
10assessment year prior to valuation under this Division shall
11return to being assessed as farmland in accordance with Section
1210-110 in the year following completion of the removal of the
13commercial solar energy system as long as the property is
14returned to a farm use as defined in Section 1-60 of this Act,
15notwithstanding that the land was not used for farming for the
162 preceding years.
17    (35 ILCS 200/10-755 new)
18    Sec. 10-755. Abatements. Any taxing district, upon a
19majority vote of its governing authority, may, after the
20determination of the assessed valuation as set forth in this
21Code, order the clerk of the appropriate municipality or county
22to abate any portion of real property taxes otherwise levied or
23extended by the taxing district on a commercial solar energy



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1    (35 ILCS 200/10-760 new)
2    Sec. 10-760. Applicability. The provisions of this
3Division apply for assessment years 2018 through 2033.
4    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
5becoming law.".