The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today declared immediate jurisdiction to determine whether the federal tax savings Florida utilities are reaping as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Act) must be returned to customers.
The Act took effect January 1, 2018 and reduces the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 to 21 percent.
The PSC action preserves its authority to flow back any savings to customers, and applies to all investor-owned utilities (IOUs)—electric, water/wastewater, and natural gas—that do not already have rate case settlements giving tax reform benefits to ratepayers. Actual amounts will be determined after a hearing.
Today’s vote came in response to a January 9 petition by Office of Public Counsel, and is effective immediately.
“Today we drove a stake in the ground,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “The urgent need was to assert our jurisdiction to determine who should rightly benefit from any tax savings. Now we can embark on a deliberative process to make sure customers are treated fairly.”
Previous rate case settlements for Duke Energy Florida, LLC; Tampa Electric Company; Gulf Power Company; and Florida Public Utilities Company contain provisions for flowing tax cut benefits back to customers, and that process will go forward in accordance with each settlement’s terms.