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Washington Examiner: $3 billion payoff: 101 utilities cut rates, credit GOP tax cuts

June 07, 2018

Washington Examiner

$3 billion payoff: 101 utilities cut rates, credit GOP tax cuts

The number of electric, gas and water utilities cutting customer charges due to the recently passed Republican tax cuts has passed 100, and the total savings is about $3 billion.

According to Americans for Tax Reform, the number has reached 101 with most utilities either cutting bills or not passing on the costs of expanding their operations.

“When Democrats threaten to raise taxes if they get back into power they are threatening to raise your utility bill — month after month,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

His group has been tabulating the economic payoff of the tax cuts, first by charting the hundreds of companies paying higher wages or bonuses, and now counting the benefits to utility customers.

The list includes statements from many of the utilities and the general total for the cuts is over $2.8 billion. Hundreds of millions more of added utility expenses won’t be passed on to customers, and the statements also included specific dollar cuts to bills.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Several of the companies directly cited the act in cutting rates.

“Because of recent changes made to the federal tax law, customers will directly benefit. What Tampa Electric would have paid in corporate income taxes will instead be used to the cost of restoring power after Hurricane Irma and several other earlier named,” said Tampa Electric.

“We’re working to ensure that our customers receive timely benefits from the new tax reform legislation,” said Charles Rice, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans. “We’re glad to pass on these additional savings by reducing rates below what they otherwise would be, especially during the hot summer months when energy use rises along with the thermometer,” he added.

See the full list here.