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Legislative Memo

Darren Suarez
Director of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

A. 180 (Dinowitz)

Support

SUBJECT:

Creates the State Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate

 

DATE:

June 1, 2015

 

The Business Council of New York State opposes the following legislation as it is unwarranted, without merit, and will immediately increase the cost of energy in the State for all consumers.

The public advocacy for this legislation is predicated on either intentionally misleading or misinformed information regarding the cost drivers of energy in the State of New York.

If the sponsors of the legislation are truly interested in addressing the affordability of energy in New York, they should review the significant state imposed taxes, fees and assessments on energy rates, and take immediate steps to oppose them.

A 2010 report by the Public Policy Institute (PPI), the research affiliate of The Business Council of New York State, entitled "Short-Circuiting New York's Recovery-How Energy Taxes Contribute to High Electric Rates in New York," demonstrates that State and local gross receipt taxes, sales taxes, assessments, income taxes, taxes on capital and, above all, property taxes help make New York's electricity prices the third highest in the US.

The New York's staggering energy taxes create a host of negative consequences, but the creation of a State Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate can do nothing to address the numerous fees, taxes, and assessment. Assessment and hidden fees like 18-a, which have cost consumers billions, can only be addressed by elected officials. Those interested in real energy cost savings should start by supporting measures to end "hidden" energy taxes.

This legislation at best, fails to address the root problems of high energy cost in the state and at worst, is a veiled attempt to divert attention from the true cost drivers of energy in New York.

For this reason and the above stated reasons The Business Council of the State of New York opposes this legislation