Solar energy projects and property taxes in Indiana
March 1, 2023
Utilities are building a lot of solar energy projects in Indiana. Fields of solar panels will become a common part of our landscape. This may help avert some consequences of climate change on the planet. But what are the local consequences?
Building a solar project creates a lot of local spending and quite a few jobs. Once construction is done, though, projects need few employees, and there is little effect on local spending. There are no suppliers of solar equipment located in Indiana. Lease payments received by landowners may or may not be spent locally.
The main effect on local communities is through the added property taxes paid by the solar companies. A recent study of nine solar energy projects in eight Indiana counties estimates this effect. The study was conducted by the Purdue Center for Regional Development, and I worked on the property tax. You can find it on the PCRD website.