Harrisburg — Senator Mario Scavello (R-40) applauded yesterday’s Senate passage of legislation he is co-sponsoring to generate significant economic development statewide, create jobs and enhance the state’s clean energy portfolio.
Senate Bill 234 lays the groundwork for counties and municipalities to create Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs. PACE financing allows business owners, contractors, and private investors to arrange long-term loans that are repaid through the property taxes on a building, allowing for limited or no upfront cost for the business.
The inclusion of loan payments in the building’s property taxes relegates responsibility of payment to the current owner of the building for the duration of the loan.
Senator Scavello said the property tax mechanism, which is administered by local governments, is attractive to the business owner, who is not forced to tie up valuable capital or be bound to a property for an extended period, as well as the investor, who can count on regular payments towards the loan. The all-around incentives of the PACE program have made it a popular plan that has been authorized in 33 states and the District of Columbia.
Senator Scavello, as Majority Chair of the Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee, worked with the bill’s sponsors, Sen. John Blake (D-22) and Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R-37), to bring together dozens of stakeholders from the business, labor and clean energy communities to develop the legislation.
“I want to extend thanks to Senator Scavello of the Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee. Senator Scavello got involved with stakeholder input and trying to broker good language for a good bill and I have gratitude for his work,” said Senator Blake.
“I want to thank Senator Blake and Senator Scavello for working with me on this bipartisan, commonsense piece of legislation. Both were tremendous help and this legislation would not have passed without my two colleagues,” said Senator Reschenthaler.
“There are many businesses in my district that have been able to capitalize on the benefits of solar. Some of those businesses were able to afford the upgrades, but others can’t, and this program helps those who do not have the funds readily available, but can afford a long-term loan,” Scavello said. “Statewide, this will mean significant economic development and job creation through enhancement of the state’s clean energy portfolio. In addition, many commercial, industrial and residential buildings throughout Pennsylvania see savings as they are made more efficient by energy upgrades.”
Senate Bill 234 was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
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