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View Diary: U.S. Solar Capacity up 418% Since 2010, Koch Bros Demand Tax on Sun (235 comments)

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  •  You've never heard of water rights? (0+ / 0-)

    Here, read this:
    http://agecon.unl.edu/...

    Also, lake front property is worth more and taxed more than inland property. Yes, water on property affects land value and is taxed. Wind and sunlight can affect land value in the exact same way.

    •  Why, yes, I have heard of it... (18+ / 0-)

      ...two water rights law university courses I took on the subject. I also dealt with "solar rights" when I worked as managing editor of The Solar Law Reporter. Are you aware that water rights are SEPARATE from land rights? There is a difference between the higher property values that apply when someone builds or buys a place on a lake or stream for the beauty and other amenities as opposed to the flow of water through a place that an owner cannot use. If I live on an acre of flat and that gets sunlight all day long and my neighbor a 10th of a mile away lives on an acre surrounded by hills where direct sunlight is blocked several hours a day, do you suppose the county taxes us differentially?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 07:23:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure. Let's handle them separately (0+ / 0-)

        Aesthetic beauty:

        Water on a piece of land can mean higher property values and therefore higher property taxes.
        Is there a fundamental difference between water and sunlight, from a beauty standpoint?  A piece of flat land, or land in a sunny climate, could be deemed more sunny, more beautiful, therefore more valuable, and therefore taxed more.  You don't think property values in southern California "sun tax" component?  They absolutely do.

        Capitalistic use of resources on that land:

        If a farmer wants to water his crop, he may need to buy water rights in order to use that water on his land, yes?

        If a landowner with a stream wanted to build a small hydro dam and produce power, he may need to pay taxes on that economic production, yes?

        A landowner who erects wind turbines and harvests the wind has economic output and higher land value due to the reliable wind patterns.  Both can lead to higher taxes.

        A landowner who finds fossil fuels under his land may pay taxes on the sale of that oil/gas/coal.  Yes?

        A landowner who doesn't install solar panels isn't USING the sunlight for economic gain.  She isn't taxed for what she cannot use.  But if she CAN use the sun for economic gain, and produce wealth (electricity), that economic activity can be taxed.

        If solar panels can be subsidized, their production can be taxed to recover all or some of that subsidy over time.  That's basic government in action.

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