Will my property taxes go up?

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Property taxes in Westchester County are the highest in the nation. This is an undesputable fact. Therefore, a concern we often come across when discussing solar solutions with homeowners is: will installing a solar array increase my taxes? The answer is no.

The NYS Property Tax Abatement for Renewable Energy

Per New York State law, homeowners may file form RP-487 with their local tax assessor's office (both the town and village) which exempts the value of their renewable energy system from tax. So you get the increased home value—5% accoding to a recent study by Zillow-for homes in the New York Metro area for homes where the system is owned rather than leased—without the tax increase.

Now let's do some math and figure out exactly how much the average Westchester homeowner stands to save from that abatement:

The typical value of a Westchester home according to Zillow is $724,167 and the typical added-value of a solar system per the Zillow study is 5 percent of that, so $36,208, which, according to EnergySage, is slightly more than the average price of a 10kw system in Westchester, NY.

So say we're in Irvington, NY, our home-base. According the the most recent school property tax calculator, $36,208 yeilds about a $700 annual tax bill for schools. At the town level, Greenburgh in our case, you pay about $19.70 per thousand dollars of value. 19.7 x 36.2 = 713. So just over $1400 dollars in tax would be paid on a value increase of 5% for the average Westchester home.

How long will it last?

If you install a solar system now, you won't have to pay for that increase in value for the next 15-years.

Now you might say, what good is an increase in home value if I don't want to sell my home. Well, you might not want to sell now, if and when you do that extra value can be realized. Further, the increased value can serves as extra collateral if you want to refinance.

This incentive isn't going to last forever. The NYS Senate has extended it to include all systems placed in service before January 1, 2023.