January 10, 2018
AUSTIN – Joining a bipartisan coalition of 18 states, Attorney General Ken Paxton today urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to make sure that public utility companies pass on to consumers the savings from the reduction in the corporate income tax rate under President Trump’s new tax reform plan.
As of January 1, the rate was reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent. Public utilities, along with other businesses, now pay lower taxes and have more cash on hand.
“I’m thrilled to be part of a bipartisan coalition that recognizes that lower taxes benefit everyone. Helping Texans and others around the country by reducing household utility bills is an example of the immediate and positive impact of the president’s tax reform plan,” Attorney General Paxton said.
“Thanks to the new law, prices will come down and consumers will have more money in their pockets, just as companies are raising wages, paying bonuses, and hiring more workers.”
In a letter, Attorney General Paxton and the bipartisan coalition call on FERC to act as quickly as possible to make any necessary changes to utilities’ rates to ensure that customers’ bills are reduced.
“Unless the Commission adjusts the Public Utilities’ revenue requirements to reflect this federal corporate income tax reduction, utility customers nationwide will be overpaying for their electric and gas service by hundreds of millions of dollars,” they wrote.
The letter also asks FERC to establish a date to refund utility customers for any over-collection resulting from delays.
FERC has acted before to adjust customers’ rates in accordance with tax cuts. In 1987, it allowed electric utilities to file for rate decreases after President Reagan lowered the corporate tax rate from 46 to 34 percent.
Joining Attorney General Paxton in the letter are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Virginia, as well as the Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel, the Florida Office of Public Counsel, the Maine Office of the Public Advocate, the New Hampshire Office of the Consumer Advocate, the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, and the Vermont Department of Public Service.