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PR campaign to launch for solar amendment

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Wednesday marks the beginning of “the official digital launch of the summer education campaign” of a proposed constitutional amendment on solar power.

Florida for Solar, Inc., championed by state Sen. Jeff Brandes, and Floridians 4 Lower Energy Costs are joining forces to get “Amendment 4” passed on the Aug. 30 primary ballot.

“Both organizations will be working together to gain support from voters through direct mail, digital and traditional media,” they said in a Tuesday press release.

The amendment would be a sort of tax break: It would exempt solar power equipment on homes from being counted toward a house’s value for property tax purposes.

It also would exempt from taxation solar energy devices on commercial and industrial properties. Those tax breaks would begin in 2018 and last for 20 years.

“Growing the solar market offers great opportunities for our economy,” Brandes said in a statement. “Floridians will have additional clean energy options, lower energy bills and lower taxes on this investment.”

The St. Petersburg Republican sponsored the amendment this past session with state Reps. Ray Rodrigues, a Fort Myers Republican, and Lori Berman, a Lantana Democrat, in the House.

It’s now supported by The Nature Conservancy, Conservatives for Energy Freedom, the Florida Retail Federation, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

“We look forward to our partnership with Floridians 4 Lower Energy Costs and other groups to help move us one step closer to better options for renewable energy equipment in the state,” Brandes said.

Florida for Solar —
Floridians 4 Lower Energy Costs —

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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