DES MOINES -- During these surreal times, Congress continues to make COVID-19 relief a priority, as it should. Other pressing issues remain, though understandably not so much a priority. A good example is the poorly timed phaseout of the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit. Unfortunately, Iowa’s state solar tax credit is coupled with the federal tax credit. The COVID pandemic has now put good solar projects here on hold, but the clock continues to run on the phaseout.
Iowa’s solar tax credit is an important economic development tool that works as intended. It has spurred $250 million in private investment towards solar projects in all of Iowa’s 99 counties, rural and urban. That injection of money has led to a robust supply chain in our state creating hundreds of good jobs. Solar is working for farmers, businesses and homeowners--including in Waterloo, where I was born, and Cedar Falls, where I grew up. This area has recently been hit hard by COVID-19 with serious public health and economic repercussions.
When Iowa legislators reconvene this month, with a focus on COVID-19 impact and recovery, I hope they will decouple Iowa’s solar tax credit so we, not D.C., can be in control of Iowa’s energy destiny.