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Goffstown selectmen support solar panel tax exemption

GOFFSTOWN — Selectmen voted on Monday night to include a proposal at town meeting in March 2015 in favor of a tax exemption for residents with solar panels.

The item was discussed following the board’s Aug. 11 meeting, when Goffstown resident Roger Beaudoin appeared before the board to object to the town’s existing tax on solar panels. Beaudoin, who installed his panels in summer 2013, told the New Hampshire Union Leader that he equated the tax to “a punishment” from the town for trying to use green energy.

Town Assessor Scott Bartlett had informed Beaudoin that his panels added an estimated $18,000 to his overall property value, which, according to Beaudoin, “dramatically” increased his taxes. When Beaudoin questioned Bartlett on how he arrived at the cost, Bartlett said he looked at pricing on a similar solar panel system installed in Berkeley, Calif.

“It’s a lot more expensive (in California) than it is here in New Hampshire,” Beaudoin told the board on Aug. 11. “I’ve also talked to several real estate agents asking them how does it increase the value of my property. They said it doesn’t.”

Beaudoin told the board he wanted the town to adopt the solar exemption known as RSA 72:62, which other municipalities in New Hampshire have already adopted. The process to adopt the exemption is outlined in RSA 72:27-a and requires a vote at the annual town meeting.

A motion was approved 5-0 to move forward with drafting language for bringing RSA 72:62 to the 2015 town meeting, which would also include an exemption for wind energy.


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