N.Y. Legislature May Ease Tax Burden

Fortnightly Magazine - February 15 1996

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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