$5 billion could be refunded to ratepayers statewide.
Massapequa, NY - May 15, 2018 - Today, Senator John Brooks (SD-8) called on the Public Service Commission to facilitate immediate tax relief for New Yorkers stemming from the windfall tax relief public utilities are set to receive under the new federal tax plan.
The Public Service Commission (PSC), which oversees public utilities in New York, is currently reviewing recommendations for how public utilities will operate with $5 billion in excess funds from ratepayers. One of the recommendations being deliberated by the PSC would obligate utilities to issue immediate rebate checks for ratepayers. Senator Brooks issued a written comment as part of PSC’s open comment period on this issue.
“Long Islanders have long suffered from high utility rates without any significant relief,” said Senator John Brooks. “The federal tax plan imposes unfair restrictions on already struggling Long Island families, while rewarding utility corporations with an income tax cut -- including a windfall of more than $5 billion for utility companies in New York. This money should be promptly rebated to ratepayers.”
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 substantially modifies federal income tax structure and provides tremendous tax relief to major corporations, while devastating already struggling middle-class families across Long Island. As part of options being explored by PSC on how public utility companies should return funds to ratepayers who essentially overpaid, the PSC is exploring directing utilities to issue immediate rebate checks to ratepayers. Senator Brooks is urging the PSC to act in ratepayers best interest and adopt an immediate rebate check to ratepayers. Families would experience immediate relief with a physical rebate check from their utility company, as opposed to a vague promise of lower rates in the future.
Brooks concluded, “I urge PSC to act in ratepayers' best interests and facilitate immediate tax relief. It would be irresponsible to not pass along any tax relief awarded to utility corporations to taxpayers as well.”