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Arizona Court Says State Cannot Tax Leased Solar Systems

The state of Arizona cannot make companies that lease rooftop solar panels to homeowners pay property taxes on those.

Many solar customers in Arizona lease their systems, rather than buy them outright, from companies like SunRun and Solar City. Those companies had sued the state department of revenue after it decided to start charging property taxes on the leased systems back in 2013.

A lower court had initially ruled in the companies' favor, but also that the underlying state law that exempted the systems might violate the state Constitution. The court said counties, not the state, could collect the property taxes.

But this week, the Arizona Court of Appeals shot that down, deciding that the lower court was wrong and that the state law was constitutional.

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Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.