The 1603 Grant Program was not extended. What does this mean for smaller projects? Steve Rodman, CPA, MST, president of Rodman & Rodman, P.C. weighs in.
A few weeks ago, Congress had an opportunity to boost the renewables economy by passing an amendment that would extend the 1603 Grant Program for another year. The failure of this legislation to pass (by a 49-49 Senate vote) is disappointing to those who are involved in the renewable energy arena.
According to Steve Rodman, CPA, MST, president of Rodman & Rodman, P.C. providers of Green Energy financial/accounting services and business strategy for solar, wind, biomass, and cleantech companies, "The loss of this source of grant money will create new challenges for the future. The renewable energy economy is not completely felled by the expiration of the 1603. The program reverts back to the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) through 2016, which allows for a 30 percent tax credit (instead of the cash grant) for certain renewable energy projects. However, making use of the credit can be very difficult with small and medium sized projects."
Rodman, who is a member of the New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC) and Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) continued, "It is rare that the smaller developer would have the tax appetite. For example, a $2 million project generates a $600,000 credit which is a lot of tax credit to make use of for the typical regional developer. The 30 percent cash grant in lieu of the credit didn't cost the government any more than some bank interest, but certainly made financing a project much more practical. Now the developer will likely need to find an investor for the project who is interested in being allocated the tax credits in exchange for his investment dollars."
To sum it up:
· Large banks that participate this way on utility scale deals are not interested in a few million dollars of credits, never mind a $2 million project that generates $600,000 of credits.
· Smaller institutions typically don't have the experience with this type of investment.
· High net worth individuals need to have substantial "passive" income to qualify. This precludes those investors with large salary, interest and dividend income from qualifying as those types of income are not considered passive and the ITC cannot offset taxes from active and portfolio income.
"The growth in the industry over the last few years can be directly traced to the incentives programs like the ITC and the 1603 Program. The challenges from expiration of the grant program will be overcome with creativity and education of the capital marketplace. But there will be a slowdown until this fully evolves," Rodman concluded.
About Rodman & Rodman P.C.
Founded in 1961, Rodman & Rodman, P.C. provides accounting, tax and business services to small and medium-sized companies throughout New England. With a focus on strategic planning, Rodman & Rodman goes beyond traditional accounting services and takes a proactive approach when serving clients to increase, preserve and sustain clients' financial net worth. The company is Green Business Certified and in 2010 and 2011 was named one of the "Best Accounting Firms to Work For" in Accounting Today. Rodman & Rodman is listed in the Boston Business Journal's "Top 50 Firms".
From business valuations, taxation, audits, fraud detection and prevention services and succession planning to a variety of accounting IT services including software selection, implementation and training, the team at Rodman & Rodman serves as comprehensive advisors to clients. For individual clients, the company offers personal advisory services such as planning for real estate transactions, obtaining financing, estate planning and retirement planning as well as planning for college education. The Rodman & Rodman Green Team is a specialized green energy and clean technology accounting and tax services practice within Rodman & Rodman, P.C.
Rodman & Rodman, P.C. are located at 3 Newton Executive Park in Newton and 25 Braintree Hill Office Park in Braintree, MA. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit their website at www.rodmancpa.com or contact (617) 965-5959.