PG&E’s Federal Tax Break Would Go To Customers Under New Bill

February 08, 2018

San Francisco Chronicle
By David R. Baker

The tax breaks California utilities receive from President Trump’s federal tax overhaul would be refunded to their customers, under a bill introduced in Sacramento Thursday.

The bill — SB 1028, from state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo — would apply to companies that provide electricity, gas, water or in some cases telephone services. It would require the California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees such companies, to adjust customers’ rates within 90 days of determining how much each utility will save.

State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, has introduced a bill to ensure that California utilities return savings from the federal tax break to customers.

The tax breaks California utilities receive from President Trump’s federal tax overhaul would be refunded to their customers, under a bill introduced in Sacramento Thursday.

The bill — SB 1028, from state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo — would apply to companies that provide electricity, gas, water or in some cases telephone services. It would require the California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees such companies, to adjust customers’ rates within 90 days of determining how much each utility will save.

The amounts of money involved could be substantial. California’s largest electric utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., estimates it will save $500 million from the tax cut. PG&E, however, says the savings could be offset by increased spending the company anticipates to deal with winter storms and trees killed by the drought and the ongoing bark beetle infestation.

“We have already paid this tax, for PG&E, so we’re the ones who deserve and should get the refund,” Hill said. “It they want more money to do more work, then that’s what general rate cases are for, and they need to come before the California Public Utilities Commission and ask for it.”

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