As of June 1, New York will exempt from sales and use taxes the retail sale and installation of commercial solar energy systems equipment. That means no 4 percent state sales tax and the 0.375 percent use tax rate in the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (New York City, Long Island and Rockland, Putnam, Westchester, Orange and Dutchess counties).
Purchases are exempt from local sales and use taxes only if the county or city specifically enacts the solar energy exemption. Only a handful of counties are implementing a local exemption, including Rockland, according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance.
The new exemption is in addition to the sales and use tax exemption for residential solar energy equipment that has been in effect since Sept. 1, 2005.
The exemptions do not apply to items such as pipes, controls, insulation or other equipment that are part of a conventional gas, oil or electric heating or cooling system.