Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski) said today new taxes that recently appeared on utility bills are, unfortunately, due to the budget passed in April.
One tax, called the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Utility Service Conservation Assessment,Ã¢â‚¬Â is a tax utility companies pay on two percent of gross intrastate revenues. This will be listed on utility bills. The other tax is not listed on consumer bills but is rather reflected in increased rate charges; the state budget increased the assessment on public utilities from one third to one percent on gross intrastate revenues.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s budget enacted a number of new taxes and fees. These new utility taxes are just another new expense that will continue to hurt residents and businesses. It is for these reasons and others that I voted against the budget,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Barclay.
Over the past 10 years, state spending has increased by $58.6 billion or 79.9 %. These utility taxes are expected to generate $520 million for the general fund.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Though our state leaders created a new revenue stream to help close the state budget gaps, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe they looked hard enough to reduce spending before adding new taxes. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve said many times before, our state does not have a budget problem; we have a spending problem,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Barclay. Ã¢â‚¬Å“By taxing such a basic commodity further, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re driving up the costs of everything from manufactured goods to the menu items at restaurants. We also risk losing more residents and businesses due to high energy costs.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The new utility taxes became effective July 1.