Over the past decade, Missouri has experienced steady growth in utility-scale solar projects and developers have benefited from a property tax exemption under Section 137.100(10) of the state’s tax code. Since the statutory property tax exemption was passed in 2013, solar facilities have leveraged the tax exemption to offset development and operations costs. Until recently, the solar facility tax exemption had flown largely under the radar, as even the largest solar facilities to come online in Missouri have been smaller than 15 megawatts. Over the last few years, however, Missouri counties have started to see the kind of interest from large utility-scale solar developers that states in the south have been experiencing. But in August of 2022, the Missouri Supreme Court bucked the state’s solar-friendly trend in Johnson v. Springfield Solar 1, LLC, 648 S.W.3d 101 (Mo. 2022), unanimously finding the exemption for “solar energy systems not held for resale” under Section 137.100(10) unconstitutional. The case involved a small solar facility that supplied energy to Springfield, Missouri. The Missouri Supreme Court’s decision means that Springfield Solar 1, LLC could owe Greene County, Missouri more than $400,000 in back property taxes, and more generally, that developers who installed solar equipment in Missouri since 2013 will not be able to rely on the property tax exemption as they had anticipated under the tax code.
Lizzy assists clients with real property transactions, primarily in renewable energy.
Lizzy’s first experience in law centered on real estate, when she took an undergraduate internship at a Kansas law firm that specialized in farmland transactions. With one side of her family in law and the other side in farming, the work was a perfect fit for her background. Lizzy went on to focus on real estate during her law school summers, working on commercial leases, industrial leases, and solar and wind projects.
Today, Lizzy supports real estate transactions for renewable energy projects. With most wind and solar developments located on farmland, she draws on her personal knowledge of farming communities and the agricultural world to assist clients in negotiations. Lizzy loves working in a practice area where the final result is a win for all sides: when a renewable transaction closes, she knows her work has benefitted the client, the farmer landowner and society as a whole.
While Lizzy served as a summer associate at Husch Blackwell before fully joining the firm, she also spent a summer as a legal intern in-house at a multinational conglomerate company. The experience showed her what was most helpful from outside counsel and how best to deliver for clients. Lizzy brings this sense of client focus to her professional practice and aims to look at issues holistically, considering not just the legal matters but also the business implications of her advice. Her goal is to go out of her way to understand a client’s situation and to ensure that they are set up for future success.