SOMERS – A solar panel company is suing the city, claiming its property became subject to local property taxes in 2019, despite being tax-free under state law.
According to the lawsuit, originally filed in Vernon Superior Court in September and later filed in Waterbury Superior Court, solar panel company filed for Sunnova Tep II-B LLC – a Houston-based subsidiary of Sunnova Tep II LLC’s parent company based in Delaware the reimbursement of taxes on his property that were less than $ 2,500.
The lawsuit says the company owns four rooftop solar power systems at four residential locations in Somers. Every solar system is a “class I renewable energy source”, the lawsuit states, and is therefore tax-free under state law.
WHAT: The solar module company Sunnova has filed a lawsuit against the city of Somers.
WHY: She claims the city unlawfully taxed its property in 2019, which is tax-free under state law.
Remedy sought: Tax refund less than $ 2,500, declaration that the property is tax exempt
However, the lawsuit states that even though Sunnova filed a request for solar system tax exemption in 2019, the city continued to tax the property and added it to the 2019 grand list that is the list of taxable properties in the city.
Sunnova says in the lawsuit that these taxes were not paid except to the extent that they may have been paid in protest, but the lawsuit does not disclose the amount.
The lawsuit says Sunnova is seeking a statement that his property is tax-exempt and a court ruling that the city’s actions were “unfounded, arbitrary, capricious and taken in bad faith.”
The Board of Selectmen discussed the lawsuit in a closed session during its meeting on Tuesday, but took no action, First Selectman CG “Bud” Knorr said.
As of November 30, the case was referred to Waterbury Superior Court as judge James Abrams viewed it as a complex litigation.
Complex litigation is civil litigation “involving multiple litigation and / or legally challenging issues or multi-million dollar damages claims,” according to the state Justice Department website.
A court date has not yet been set, but Judge Barbara Bellis will lead the case.