State officials say they have launched a two-pronged effort to ensure that savings reaped by Maine utilities from the recently implemented corporate tax cut will be passed on to customers as soon as possible in the form of lower rates.
Still, it will likely take several months for ratepayers in Maine to see any reductions to their electricity, water and gas bills, and the amount of those reductions is still unknown.
Unlike other for-profit businesses in the state, regulated utilities are not allowed to simply pocket the excess cash they generate from the corporate tax rate reduction from 35 percent to 21 percent, according to regulators.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission initiated a process this week to determine the impact of the tax cut on the “justness and reasonableness” of rates for each of Maine’s major utilities. At the same time, the state Office of the Public Advocate has signed onto a multistate request for a similar assessment by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the federal level.
“We think it’s important that there be what’s known as a true-up, immediately,” said Maine Public Advocate Barry Hobbins, referring to the accounting principle of reconciling two values such as costs and revenues.
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