Utilities to calculate tax savings; ratepayers could benefit

Utilities to calculate tax savings; ratepayers could benefit”

CenterPoint, which has 2.4 million electric and 1 million gas customers in the Houston area, raised both electric and natural gas rates a year ago.

The Republican tax plan that President Donald Trump signed into law last month includes a reduction in the highest corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Schuh's letter, written on behalf of advocacy staff, asks commissioners to consider issuing an order refunding customers "the net benefits of the tax reform". With the reduction in those costs as a result of the new tax bill, rate reductions could flow to MS customers. The tax-related changes will be incorporated into the rates.

Several companies raised their employees' pay and gave bonuses after passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act , and now the Mississippi Public Service Commission is looking into whether utility rate reduction could be coming to Mississippians under the provisions of the new law.

The federal income tax cut may also reduce utility bills. The PSC has opened a formal investigation on the effect of the tax cuts on those rates.

Otter Tail spokeswoman Cris Oehler said the company is working with commission staff on adjusting a rate increase it requested in November, before the tax legislation passed.

"It stands to reason that, when you see line items on rate cases for taxes, that when you drop that amount 14 percent, there's going to be a savings", Fedorchak said.

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