Delaware Public Media | by Nick Ciolino
The Delaware Public Commission voted to approve a petition to reduce Delaware utility rates in response to recently passed federal tax cuts.
Last month the federal government passed legislation dropping the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.
Delaware’s Public Advocate petitioned to have utility companies in the state drop their rates proportionate to the savings from the cuts. The Delaware Public Commission voted unanimously—four to zero—in favor of the petition Wednesday.
Public Advocate Drew Slater says there was some argument to put the funds towards infrastructure projects, but he’s glad they will go back to rate-payers.
“If you go to WaWa and buy a dollar cup of coffee and you pay with a $20 bill, you get your $19 back. You don’t expect them to hold on to the money for you,” said Slater. “Similarly, when you pay federal income tax. When you pay too much, you expect a refund.”
The petition found support from public comments as well as a bipartisan letter from the state’s General Assembly.
“I believe that public comments were a key part in how the commission came to this decision,” said Slater.
Delmarva Power recently applied for both electric and natural gas rate hikes, but the company agreed to adjust the proposed increases based on the Public Commission’s decision.
Utility companies are required to file their proposed rate reduction by March 31st. Those numbers will be scrutinized by The Delaware Public Commission.