Perennial Tax Increase From Bountiful City (Power Company)

In a recent city newsletter (not yet available on the city’s website),  a sunny article  included the intent of pursuing yet another 10 percent increase in power rates.  The city takes the money from the rate increase to maintain an approximate $2.2 million transfer to the general fund (not the power department).

I’ve been watching the city use it’s power company to raise rates for years now and, thus, avoid truth-in-taxation hearings.  This announcement comes almost exactly one year from the last one and close to two years from raising the “customer charge” 250%.  Bountiful rates and customer charges have remained consistently higher than Rocky Mountain Power.

Comparison and Number Crunching

Let’s compare Bountiful Power and Light’s rates (a municipal company exempt from State/Fed tax* and Public Service Commission oversight) to those of Rocky Mountain Power (a private company subject to taxes, oversight, and shareholder requirements):

Bountiful currently charges a flat fee of 8.81¢/kWh (kilowatt hour).  After the increase, it becomes 9.691¢/kWh.  Bountiful charges a $4 customer fee.

Rocky Mountain Power is a bit trickier.  It’s rates change during the summer (high demand) vs winter months:

May-September: Tiered rate of $7.5292¢/kWh first 400 kWh, 8.9416¢/kWh next 600 kWh, and 11.1216¢ per kWh all additional kWh.  I figure most residences use less than 800 kWh and that would average out to about 8.2354¢/kWh (Averaged 800kWh = (7.5292+8.9416)/2 = 8.2354).

October-April: Flat rate of 7.8009¢ per kWh.

Let’s weight those results for the average kWh charge.  ((8.2354*5 months)+(7.8009*7 months))/12 = 7.9812¢ per kWh.

Rocky Mountain Power charges a $3 customer fee (recently raised from $2).

Conclusion

It appears Bountiful remains significantly more expensive for the average homeowner than the Rocky Mountain Power.  Right now, Bountiful residents pay over 10% more for their power and 33% more on their customer charge.  Additionally, over the last two years, the city has raised your power bills (based on 600kWh use) by roughly $144/year (includes customer charge increase).  That comes out to $1.92 Million/year for the city (using 2000 Census figures for Bountiful households – 13,341*144) which is…about the amount transferred into the general fund**.

All this to maintain the transfer to the city’s general fund (conveniently avoiding truth-in-taxation hearings) with the added bonus of falsely claiming lower taxes while citizens and businesses are tightening their belts.

————-

*This is the statement made by a UAMPS representative.  The city bill includes a franchise tax which appears to be levied by the city itself and not State or Federal government.

**Note: the $1.92 Million figure does not include businesses which I believe also had their rates raised.  The figure is probably larger.

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2 thoughts on “Perennial Tax Increase From Bountiful City (Power Company)

  1. Pingback: Bountiful City Raising Power Rates (Tax) Again « Utah Rattler

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