Barclay Sponsors Legislation to Repeal New Utility Tax

<p>Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski)</p>
Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski)

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski) today announced that he is sponsoring legislation to repeal the new utility taxes passed in this year’s budget.

There are two new taxes affecting utility tax companies and consumers. One tax, called the “Utility Service Conservation Assessment,” is a tax utility companies pay on two percent of gross intrastate revenues. This is now listed on utility bills and affects electricity, natural gas and phone bills. The other tax, which is not listed on consumer bills, is reflected in increased rate charges due to increases the state is applying to the utility’s gross intrastate revenues assessment.

“These taxes are expected to generate $520 million over a five-year period. It’s the single largest tax passed in this year’s budget and will affect anyone who uses gas, electricity, or the phone,” said Barclay. “Not only is this a business-unfriendly tax, to say the least, but I’m concerned it will unduly force the costs of goods and services up across the board, which is unfair to everyone. It is for these reasons and others that I voted against the budget,” added Barclay.

Over the past 10 years, state spending has increased by $58.6 billion or 79.9 %. New York was recently ranked 49th by the Tax Foundation for its poor business tax policies, second only to New Jersey.

“I’ve said many times before, our state does not have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem,” said Barclay. “By taxing such a basic commodity further, we risk losing more residents and businesses due to high energy costs and asking more of our taxpayers.”

The new utility taxes became effective July 1. The legislation Barclay is sponsoring would eliminate both taxes.