Washington County

Posted: Feb 22, 2021 11:28 AMUpdated: Feb 22, 2021 11:28 AM

Washington County Holds Off on C-PACE Program

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Garrett Giles

The Washington County Commissioners heard a presentation on Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or C-PACE, during their meeting on Monday morning.

Adriane Jaynes with INCOG told the Commissioners that C-PACE would encourage the private sector commercial building investment, improve the County's property tax base, and help create local jobs. Commissioner Mitch Antle said he's anxious to see how the process works on projects based in Tulsa. He said he would also like to see a couple other projects roll out and know that everyone is comfortable with the process before Washington County engages in C-PACE.

The Washington County Commissioners took no action at the end of the 20 minute presentation. If the Commissioners were to pursue the C-PACE program, they would have to pass an Oklahoma C-PACE enabling resolution and execute a Memorandum of Agreement with INCOG to outsource administration.

Jaynes said C-PACE is a voluntary open-market financing mechanism for commercial property owners and developers. She said counties with enabled C-PACE open the opportunity for commercial property owners to secure private, low-interest, long-term loans for eligible energy improvements secured as a special assessment on the property.

Oklahoma C-PACE is an economic development tool initiated at the county level, and available to any of the 77 counties in Oklahoma. Governor Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 1592 into law in May 2020 giving counties authority to establish C-PACE Programs by passing enabling resolution. Jaynes said the enabling resolution, the MOA with INCOG, and the C-PACE Assessment Contract and Oklahoma C-PACE Program Guidelines have been carefully developed to function within the legal framework of Oklahoma's recently passed enabling legislation. She said the new 2020 state legislation and the Oklahoma C-PACE Program would remove all administrative burden, cost, and delinquency enforcement obligation from the county.

C-PACE financing is secured against the long-term asset value of the property, not the owner's private credit. Jaynes said the long-term loan is paid in parallel with the county property tax system - and the private C-PACE lender (not the county) handles billing and loan collection. She said there would be no cost or administrative program burden to the county.

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