City Council to Continue Discussion of 'Solar Panel New Tax'

Introduction in FY2020 becomes difficult

2019/06/30 11:35
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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The council of Mimasaka City, Okayama Prefecture, Japan, closed the regular meeting concerning the ordinance draft for the introduction of the "solar panel new tax," which the city government aims to introduce, saying that it will continue to examine the draft, June 25, 2019.

The city government has been preparing to introduce the tax in fiscal 2020, but it is becoming difficult from the viewpoint of time schedule.

The solar panel new tax is a non-legal special-purpose tax based on the Local Taxation Law. When introduced, it will be imposed on power producers in accordance of the area of solar panels set up at a commercial solar power plant.

Specifically, the city plans to impose a tax of ¥50 per 1m2 panel area for 10 years (from fiscal 2020 to 2030). The tax is targeted at 10kW and higher-output solar power plants set up on the ground excluding solar panels installed on the roofs of buildings. The city expects a revenue increase of about ¥90 million per year.

If the tax is implemented, it will be the first case in Japan and might spread to other municipalities. So, the case in Mimasaka City is drawing attention.

To newly establish a non-legal special-purpose tax, written opinions from "specific taxpayers" need to be submitted. This time, the council decided to continue to examine the ordinance draft because a councilor said, "We cannot discuss it without taking the contents of written opinions into consideration."

Specific tax payers are business operators that will continuously pay 1/10 or more of the total tax revenue produced by the introduction of a new tax. This time, the council is asking Pacifico Energy KK (Minato-ku, Tokyo), which developed and runs multiple mega solar plants in the city, to submit written opinions.

In fact, before the submission of written opinions, Pacifico Energy already submitted a "written inquiry" to the city in May 2019, but the city has not yet answer the inquiry. Therefore, Pacifico Energy proposed to submit written opinions based on the answer to the inquiry.

A mega solar plant operating in Mimasaka City