If President Biden and Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen raise the corporate tax rate, New Hampshire households and businesses will get stuck with higher utility bills. Democrats plan to impose a corporate income tax rate increase to 28 percent, even higher than communist China’s 25 percent.
Customers bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Corporate income tax cuts drive utility rates down, corporate income tax hikes drive utility rates up.
Electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, utility companies worked with officials to pass along the tax savings to customers, including Liberty Utilities in New Hampshire.
As noted in a May 2018 New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission Order excerpt:
In this order, the Commission approves a distribution revenue decrease for Liberty Utilities, passing on to ratepayers the benefits of reduced corporate taxes resulting from recent changes to state and federal tax laws. This order also approves Liberty’s proposal to forego other distribution rate increases that were scheduled to take effect June 1, 2018, as a way to pass additional benefits of corporate tax reductions on to customers.
Conversely, a vote for a corporate income tax rate hike is a vote for higher utility bills right as the USA is trying to recover from the pandemic.
Sens. Hassan and Shaheen would be wise to stay away from tax increases.