Is a 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill in the works?
As a follow up to our blog of June 19, 2015, which discussed the sunset of the 30% investment tax credit for solar (the “solar ITC”) as of December 31, 2016, we are pleased to report that yesterday, December 16, 2015, the House Appropriations Committee released the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, a $1.1 trillion fiscal year 2016 omnibus spending bill. Among the provisions of the spending bill is an extension of the solar ITC through 2019, and a phase out of the solar ITC after 2021. The House will most likely vote on the spending bill on Friday, December 18, 2015.
Hopefully, the spending bill will make it through the House and Senate, and head to the President for his signature.
As tax credit professionals, the prospect of the passage of the spending bill with an extension of the solar ITC beyond December 31, 2016, is very welcome news indeed. With the sunset date now about a year away, and with a construction period of 3-4 months for the average solar installation project, there was a chill on the tax credit marketplace for pre-development deals that were planning a Spring 2016 construction start. This spending bill will have a jumpstart effect for the industry, and is certainly something we can celebrate going into the New Year.
We will post updates on our blog regarding the passage of the spending bill, but for now we are adopting a positive “let’s go” attitude toward our 2016 planning.