Lt. Gov. McKee Reports Progress in Effort to Return Utility Tax Windfall to Consumers
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Today, Lt. Governor Dan McKee reported progress in his bold effort to ensure millions in corporate tax windfall are returned to Rhode Island utility customers in the form of a rate reduction.
According to a letter sent by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to National Grid on March 12, the PUC is answering McKee’s call by directing National Grid to create a plan to revise current utility rates to reflect the reduction in the federal corporate tax from 35 to 21 percent retroactive to January 1.
McKee first called on the PUC to order a recalculation of National Grid’s current and proposed rates in a letter on January 5. After National Grid agreed to reduce only its proposed rates, McKee continued to press the issue with the support of Senator William J. Conley Jr., Representative Kenneth A. Marshall and Representative Brian P. Kennedy. Conley, Marshall and Kennedy introduced resolutions calling on the PUC to re-examine current utility rates retroactive to January 1. Resolution 31 was passed by the House on January 23 and Resolution 67 was passed by the Senate on February 15. The resolutions were then sent to the PUC and the Governor’s Office.
In last week’s public hearing hosted by the PUC regarding National Grid’s proposed rate increase, McKee, Conley and Marshall urged the PUC to lower current utility rates and provide immediate relief to customers.
“I am glad to see we are finally standing up for Rhode Island consumers rather than protecting the interests of international corporate shareholders. This money belongs in the pockets of hardworking Rhode Islanders and I will continue to work until it gets there,” McKee said.
McKee will review National Grid’s rate reduction plan and continue advocating for a fair distribution of the utility’s tax windfall to Rhode Island consumers.