The Business Council supports the provisions of S.6517 which eliminate the Temporary State Energy and Utility Service Conservation Assessment (often referred to as 18-a). In 2009, when this temporary fee was imposed, there was an explicit promise to the people of the state that this assessment would not be permanent, but it has already been extended by 3 years.
The legislation would reduce 18-a by approximately $134 million. This measure will save all utility customers millions, because every utility customer including schools, hospitals, universities, residents, farms, small businesses, and manufactures currently pays 18-a.
For businesses, the high cost of energy make New York a more difficult place to do business. Reducing the cost of doing business is widely recognized as a key component to growing the state’s economy and creating more private sector jobs. In fact, the current energy assessment costs some large businesses upwards of $1 million per year– money that could be reinvested elsewhere for greater growth.
A 2010 report from the Public Policy Institute shows that state and local taxes and assessments on electric power alone impose a $6.4 billion burden on the state’s economy. The study found that that “fully 26.68 percent of New Yorkers’ electric bills support state and local taxes and fees.
Energy is the basic driver of all major economies and in the interest of economic growth.
Therefore, The Business Council of the State of New York supports the proposed elimination of 18-a.