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Congressman Tom MacArthur

Representing the 3rd District of New Jersey

SUEZ Plans to Reduce Utility Bills, Thanks to Tax Cuts

March 12, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, SUEZ announced that it plans to reduce customer utility bills by 14 million dollars, lowering monthly bills by approximately 5%.

Congressman Tom MacArthur has been a strong proponent of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which lowered the corporate tax rate, encouraging companies to invest more in infrastructure and frontline employees. MacArthur also wrote to the NJ BPU on January 23rd and February 26th and followed up with calls to the BPU and Utility executives, urging that savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act be passed directly to consumers and infrastructure improvement investments.

“This is yet another example of residents saving money, thanks to tax cuts,” said Congressman Tom MacArthur. “Working families are seeing lower tax rates, bigger paychecks, and lower utility bills, which directly lowers the cost of living. The facts are catching up to the naysayers and residents are continuing to see more money in their pockets because we cut taxes in Washington - perhaps Trenton should try it sometime.”

Full Text of Congressman MacArthur’s Letters to BPU:

January 23, 2018

Richard S. Mroz, Esq., President

Joseph L. Fiordaliso, Commissioner

Mary-Anna Holden, Commissioner

Dianne Solomon, Commissioner

Upendra Chivukula, Commissioner

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities

44 S. Clinton Avenue

Trenton, NJ 08625

 

Dear President Mroz and Commissioners,

I’d like to draw your attention to the anticipated impacts of the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to the public utility companies your board (BPU) oversees, and request that a significant portion of anticipated savings from that legislation are passed along to consumers in the form of lower rates on electricity and gas. 

 

A recent study by The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Budget Model estimated that the newly enacted law (Public Law No: 115-97) will reduce the industry’s federal tax bill by $1 billion this year and increasing to $5 billion by the year 2021 nationwide. The Penn economists also projected that the law will yield a reduction of about 0.5 percent in electricity prices. Electric companies in Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon and Washington D.C. have already announced plans to pass their tax cuts on to customers through lower rates, and New Jersey utilities should join this group.

 

Public utilities will realize significant savings in the upcoming years that need to be ultimately passed along to the consumer. This will help to fully realize the intended economic benefit of tax reform to all New Jerseyans. One of the expectations of being removed from market competition through the current structure is passing along company savings to consumers. We expect the Board to ensure those benefits materialize for the ratepayers and not just the shareholders.

 

That said, we also understand the need for infrastructure improvement, especially for improved storm hardening and resiliency measures in light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. We request you take careful consideration of any proposed rate reviews that do not prioritize passing along savings to the end consumer, with an allowance for necessary infrastructure investment.

 

We’d also request the BPU require the public utilities to analyze and report the anticipated impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to ensure these goals are being met and that any positive effects from the bill ultimately benefit the consumer.

 

We look forward to continued engagement to ensure these goals are met as the rate setting process continues, and offer any assistance the federal government is able to guarantee they are.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Rep. Tom MacArthur

 

February 26, 2018

Joseph L. Fiordaliso, President

Richard S. Mroz, Esq., Commissioner

Mary-Anna Holden, Commissioner

Dianne Solomon, Commissioner

Upendra Chivukula, Commissioner

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities

44 S. Clinton Avenue

Trenton, NJ 08625

 

Dear President Fiordaliso and Commissioners,

 

This is a follow up to my January 23, 2018 letter to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) urging you to use the significant savings from the Tax Reform and Jobs Act of 2017 to lower New Jersey resident’s utility bills. In that letter I also requested that the board consider much needed infrastructure improvement investments, especially in my local communities still suffering from Hurricane Sandy.  

As of today, 39 states and the District of Columbia have already announced plans to pass along these savings to customers. Unfortunately New Jersey is not one of those states. The BPU should require that utility costs be reduced immediately and review specific infrastructure investments by our state’s utilities.

 

In my discussions over the past few weeks with BPU Commissioners and utility executives I understand all utilities in N.J. have to submit a plan by March 1st, 2018 for how they will pass these tax savings along to consumers.  So again, I call on the BPU to focus on two things only; saving customer’s money and investing in New Jersey infrastructure. BPU should not allow any tax savings to get diverted for executive bonuses or shareholder dividends.

 

I look forward to hearing back from you on these common sense priorities and the BPU’s plan for these savings moving forward. Please feel free to reach out to my office with any questions or comments.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

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