EPCOR will refund more than $1.1 million in federal corporate tax savings to its wastewater customers. But don’t expect an individual windfall, as the money will be split among 57,000 recipients.
The utility’s wastewater customers, including residents on Anthem’s east side, will get a one-time credit of $7.56 on the wastewater portion of their July bill, plus a $1.26 monthly credit starting in July and continuing until new rates are determined in any potential future rate case that would go before the Arizona Corporation Commission. The utility explained the refunds in a statement:
“Regulated utilities are required to collect local, state and Federal taxes as part of the service provided to customers. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 passed into law in December 2017, reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent. However, current rates for EPCOR’s Arizona wastewater customers were set by the [Arizona Corporation Commission] in June 2017 based on a 34 percent tax rate.”
Wastewater service is billed at a flat rate, so all residential customers will receive the same credit, EPCOR said.
Separately, EPCOR in January 2018 applied for System Improvement Benefits surcharge. The SIB would tack on a monthly surcharge for wastewater service to all EPCOR customers. The proposed SIB would start at 41 cents a month the first year and grow to $2.43 cents a month after five years. It would fund “routine infrastructure improvement work, like repairing and replacing old manholes and pipes,” EPCOR has said. That case is awaiting a decision by the Corporation Commission.
Meanwhile, similar tax-reform savings related to the water portion of EPCOR customers’ bills are being addressed as part of the separate water district consolidation rate case that is also pending.
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