Consumer watchdog wants Missouri utility rates cut after tax reform

A consumer utility watchdog group has called on Missouri to move quickly in ordering a reduction of utility rates based on the tax law Congress passed last month.

The Consumers Council of Missouri is responding to the new corporate tax rate, which was lowered from 35 percent to 21 percent and will bring savings to the state’s investor-owned utilities.

The watchdog group says the companies will realize hundreds of millions of dollars in extra money if utility rates continue to be calculated based on the 35 percent rate. The Consumers Council notes electric companies in Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon, Arizona and other states have announced plans to pass savings on to consumers as a result of the 40 percent drop in corporate income taxes.

In a statement to Missourinet, Ameren Missouri, the state’s largest utility, was non-committal about lowering its customer rates, but indicated future savings for ratepayers would probably come to pass.

The Missouri Public Service Commission has opened a working case to investigate the effect the recent federal tax cut legislation will have on the revenues of Missouri’s regulated utilities.

Read more: Missourinet

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