You've heard talk lately about the convergence of electricity and natural gas. That idea has grown as commodity markets have matured for gas and emerged for bulk power.
The New York State Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee is holding a series of hearings on the phase-out of the gross receipts tax (GRT). Utilities in New York State have been arguing that the GRT and unwanted purchased-power contracts have driven the price of electricity up to a noncompetitive level. Testimony pointed out that, regardless of the methods used to introduce competition, New York state utilities would not be able to fairly compete with out-of-state suppliers.
Gladys L. Cooper, assistant vice president at Central Hudson Gas & Electric Co., proposed that GRT repeal take the form of a corporate franchise or income tax similar to that paid by other businesses, based on net revenues. Alternatively, Central Hudson supports the phase-out of the GRT over five to seven years, concurrent with a phase-in of the franchise or income tax. Presently, the GRT costs Central Hudson customers about 4.5 cents of every dollar billed.
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