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Electric rate drop: Thank the GOP tax plan

January 10. 2018 11:40PM

The ripple effects of Congress cutting the U.S. corporate tax rate should illustrate the principle of tax incidence.

When government imposes a tax on a corporation, that money could come from shareholders, from paying lower wages, or from charging customers higher prices.

When government taxes a regulated utility such as the electric company, it is easier to see how those costs get passed down to your electric bill.

Cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent significantly lowers the cost of doing business in the United States. Americans for Tax Reform calculates that a million American workers have already received bonuses tied to the tax cut.

ATR is also tracking utilities that are passing their tax savings on to ratepayers.

Donald Kreis, the state’s consumer advocate, filed a petition with the Public Utilities Commission last week, asking that any tax savings from the new federal legislation immediately lead to lower rates.

The PUC is investigating how much utilities, and ratepayers, will save under the federal tax cut, as well as New Hampshire’s recent cut to business tax rates.

In Massachusetts, Eversource is setting electric rates $50 million lower than those approved before the tax cut.

The high cost of electricity remains a barrier to New Hampshire’s economic development. By lowering corporate taxes, the Republican Congress and the Trump administration have given the Granite State’s economy a jolt. They may give homeowners lower electric bills.

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