In 2015, the Louisiana Legislature had the choice to either immediately end the wasteful Louisiana Solar Tax Credit program or they can take the easy way out of “capping” the amount of tax credits given. Of course, the legislature took the second option.
The solar tax credit served as a wealth transfer from poor Louisianians to the wealthy and middle class. They were the only ones who could afford to have rooftop solar installed. As more and more rooftop solar users decrease their reliance on conventional utilities, the costs of maintaining the electrical grid fall on the poor.
The solar customers who did not receive their state tax credits are now suing the state claiming they’re entitled to those tax credits.
Solar panel customers are suing the state for violating their constitutional rights when it imposed a cap on refundable solar tax credits in July 2015.
New Orleans lawyer Larry Centola filed the suit in Baton Rouge on Friday on behalf of five homeowners, claiming their property rights were violated when the refundable solar tax credits they thought were guaranteed to them, were transformed, retroactively, into a first-come-first-served free-for-all.
Centola’s lawsuit seeks class-action status to represent an estimated group of 2,000 homeowners, the number of taxpayers believed to have installed solar panels on their roofs before the Louisiana Legislature voted in June 2015 to phase out refundable tax credits over the next three years and cap them at a total of $25 million.
This lawsuit is silly. The tax credits are not the property of these homeowners. They’re gifts from the state of Louisiana in exchange for doing something. Will the movie companies be able to sue over the caps to the film tax credit program?
But Larry Centola, the attorney behind this lawsuit, is considering a lawsuit that actually makes sense.
Centola said he’s preparing a second potential class-action lawsuit against some solar installation companies, which he said misrepresented the status of the tax credits after July 1, 2015, so they could keep their sales robust after the cap was imposed.
These are the right people to sue. Big Solar is full of very shady characters from Posigen to Elon Musk’s SolarCity. These companies are frequently the targets of state and Federal investigations alleging everything from deceptive marketing practices to fraud.
Big Solar used the tax credit cap to drive up demand, knowing that it could not possibly claim all these credits. They prayed upon these people, who wanted to save money, to line their own pockets. This is outrageous.
Any decent person should feel for these homeowners, but they’re not the victims of the state in this case. They’re the victims of a taxpayer-funded racket that only competes in places that provide it with taxpayer funding. We hope they get some justice against this very corrupt industry.