By James Ruhle
More than likely, no current eco-friendly tax credit plans are on the chopping block. At worst, they will expire without being renewed or replaced, at least at a federal level. The majority of current credit programs are set to expire in 2019-2022.
State and region sponsored tax credits will remain as healthy as ever. They will continue to be few and far between but will, most likely, still be there. In the meantime, take advantage of every credit you can as you are able since most credit can be carried forward as long as the initial claim is before the program’s expiration date.
The Energy Industry Isn’t Threatened
It may be true that the new president-elect isn’t a believer when it comes to global warming or any climate crisis. He does, however, profess to believe in strengthening our economy. Renewable energy is perfect for our country’s bottom line as well as job creation. Investments in renewable energy help create nearly twice as many jobs as investments in fossil fuel extraction as the latter is becoming highly automated. If anything, that might prove enough of a reason to keep these programs going.
Renewable and otherwise, the energy industry itself will remain robust throughout the Trump presidency. From what he is saying now and in the past, he’s not at war with sustainable energy itself and will make no effort to inhibit its production. The only thing he has said he is against is regulations- specifically those levied against coal, oil, and natural gas.
A Trump presidency won’t doom renewable energy plans. It will only level the energy industry’s playing field. State and local governments will have a say, too. While this doesn’t hold well with environmentalists- it’s not the worst thing.
Hope in the Form of Ivanka Trump, “Functional First Lady”
If the economic factors aren’t enough to sway policymakers opinions, perhaps Ivanka Trump will. With a history of supporting climate change advocates and issues, it is unclear how much of a political role she will choose to take on. Her responsibilities regarding the family business have already increased exponentially recently, not to mention her affairs.
If Ivanka Trump does choose to get involved will it create a divisive atmosphere or merely temper the attitude toward the elimination of all climate regulations? It won’t be an easy role to take on but many hope she will.
What It Means for Individuals
Most eco-friendly tax credits are single use. You still have a few years to take advantage of the current federal programs. If you wait, you will most likely lose the opportunity.
As things stand, the renewable energy industry is doing well enough that it can thrive without tax credits or subsidies for itself or consumers. Most “eco-friendly substitutes” have been designed to be plainly more efficient than other options- this applies to everything from cars to building materials and major appliances. Increased efficiency results in savings.
Ongoing Tax Credits
There are plenty of other ways to save money on your taxes, green or not. No matter which credits and deductions you choose to take, you can always decide to use that money to make green or clean energy investments.
Environmentalists: Vote with Your Wallet
If your primary interest in eco-friendly tax benefits is less financial and more ethical consider these two top concerns: “How do we keep progressing in environmentally conscious ways?” and “How do we mitigate the damage that undoing current regulations will do?”
The answer to the first concern, experts say, is to invest in research. More than anything else, the research into better clean energy production and storage systems will take a hit. With a lack of funding, American progress will slow. However, the research isn’t wholly dependent on the federal government. State governments, as well as private companies and individuals, are investing in this area already. You can get involved, too.
The latter has a similar answer. Support renewable energy solutions by switching to them for your power source, or by remaining an advocate of these solutions.
Estimated Net Change to Your Tax Plans – Little to None
Even with a Trump presidency, the House and Senate are unlikely to eliminate current eco-friendly tax credits due to their positive economic impact. If they are unable to renew them due to executive branch intervention, by the time they expire we may have a new president in office. If not, there are plenty of other tax credits available at the state level.
*James Ruhle is an online marketing entrepreneur.