Tax Cuts Yield Lower Utility Rates

Americans are seeing yet another benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by President Trump last December.  According to a new report from Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), some 120 utility companies nationwide have lowered consumer rates since the tax law took effect at the start of the year.  The law reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.  ATR President Grover Norquist says these companies should pass that savings along to consumers.  "It's legally required in most regulated monopoly industries that you pass on drops in cost, taxes, business taxes, property taxes," he tells KTRH.

Among the companies passing along savings is Houston water/sewer utility Quadvest.  "This is the first time that I've ever known that our utility is giving savings back to the consumer," says Quadvest President Simon Sequeira.  "We're happy to lower prices, and more money in people's pockets always translates into a better economy."

Quadvest isn't the only local utility lowering rates because of the tax cuts.  CenterPoint Energy tells KTRH in a statement that as a result of tax reform, it has reduced its annual electric rate revenue by approximately $90 million, and annual natural gas revenue by $16 million, adding, "Both electric and natural gas customers will continue to realize additional tax savings when we file future rate adjustments."

Norquist believes this should be a major issue for voters ahead of this fall's midterm elections.  "Anyone who says I intend to repeal the Republican tax cut, as many leading Democrats have, is also saying they intend to raise your utility bills every day, for the rest of your life."

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