The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities recently applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo for recommending the elimination of the Section 18-a temporary surcharge on utility bills for municipal utilities in the state as part of his Executive Budget proposal.
The elimination of this energy tax would save municipal utility customers across the state millions of dollars per year and BPU customers approximately $550,000 this year.
BPU General Manager David L. Leathers, who is third vice president of the New York Association of Public Power, says that NYAPP has been working with the governor and the state Legislature to improve the business climate in the state by eliminating taxes such as the 18-a assessment.
The fee, called a "New York State Assessment," is the result of an increase in the annual Public Service Commission charge paid by the BPU. In 2009, the normal $100,000 paid by the BPU to support the PSC was increased suddenly and with little notice to $600,000. Approximately $100,000 went directly to the PSC, with the remaining $500,000 sent to the general fund of New York state to help meet budget needs.
"NYAPP is committed to enhance opportunities to provide the stable supply of reliable, affordable power that is essential for sustainable economic development in communities throughout the state, including Jamestown," Leathers said.
NYAPP is a state association of nine municipal and four rural electric cooperative utilities that represents more than 46 percent of the public power consumers in New York state.
Its members represent consumer-owned utilities and communities from all areas of the state; are diverse in size and type; and include the only municipal generating utilities in New York state.