Senator BOB SMITH
District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)
Senator CHRISTOPHER "KIP" BATEMAN
District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)
Provides gross income tax credit for costs to purchase and install smart thermostats.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act providing a gross income tax credit for costs to purchase and install certain smart thermostats and supplementing Title 54A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. A taxpayer shall be allowed a tax credit against the tax otherwise due for the taxable year under the “New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act,” N.J.S.54A:1-1 et seq., for an amount equal to 50 percent of the cost incurred by the taxpayer to purchase and install one or more smart thermostats in the taxpayer’s home, not to exceed $250 per taxable year.
b. To qualify for the credit allowed pursuant to this section, the taxpayer shall file an application for certification from the board that the thermostat installed by the taxpayer qualifies as a “smart thermostat.”
(1) The board shall prescribe the form for the application and certification, and may require the submission of supplemental materials with an application, including but not limited to a copy of the receipt of purchase and proof of installation.
(2) The certification shall specifically indicate the date of purchase of the smart thermostat, a description of the thermostat including energy efficiency specifications, and the cost to purchase and install the thermostat, as applicable.
(3) The board shall have 90 days from the date of receipt of a complete application to make a determination as to the issuance of a certification.
(4) Upon certification, the board shall submit a copy thereof to the taxpayer and the Director of the Division of Taxation. In filing a tax return that includes a claim for the credit allowed pursuant to this section, the taxpayer shall include a copy of the certification.
(5) The board shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to effectuate the purposes of this section. The rules and regulations shall include, but need not be limited to, energy efficiency standards to which a smart thermostat must conform to qualify for the tax credit described in this section.
c. If the credit allowed pursuant to this section for a taxable year, together with any other payments or credits against the tax, reduces the tax liability otherwise due for the taxable year to zero, any amount of the credit allowed pursuant to this section remaining shall be paid to the taxpayer as a refund of an overpayment of tax pursuant to N.J.S.54A:9-7, provided however, subsection (f) of that section, concerning the allowance of interest, shall not apply.
d. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (3) of subsection a. of section 12 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-60) to the contrary, the tax credit allowed pursuant to this section shall be funded through the societal benefits charge imposed pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-60).
e. As used in this section:
“Board” means the Board of Public Utilities.
“Smart thermostat” means a thermostat with a wireless Internet connection, which may be used alone or as part of a larger home automation platform.
2. This act shall take effect immediately and apply to taxable years beginning on or after January 1 next following the date of enactment.
This bill would provide a gross income tax credit of 50 percent of the cost of the purchase and installation of a smart thermostat in a residential property, not to exceed $250. The tax credit would be funded through the societal benefits charge, commonly referred to as the “Clean Energy Fund.”
The bill defines “smart thermostat” as a thermostat with a wireless Internet connection, which may be used alone or as part of a larger home automation platform. The bill directs the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the bill, including energy efficiency standards to which a smart thermostat must conform to qualify for the tax credit.
In order to receive the tax credit created by this bill, an applicant would be required to receive certification from the BPU in accordance with standards to be established by the BPU. Once an application for certification has been received by the BPU, the BPU would have 90 days to review it and issue a certification, as appropriate.
The tax credit is refundable if the amount of the credit exceeds the taxpayer’s liability for the taxable year.