LPPC Logo Press Release

English Bill Would Result in Raising Taxes on
     Local Governments, Says LPPC
For Immediate Release:
     March 24, 1999
Contact:
     Jerry L. Stafford
     Chairman - Communications Task Force
     (843) 761-4052
     Fax: (843) 761-4003

English Bill Would Result in Raising Taxes on
Local Governments, Says LPPC

"We are extremely disappointed that Rep. Phil English has once again introduced legislation to raise taxes on state and local governments that own and operate power systems on a non-profit basis for the benefit of their citizens," declared T. Graham Edwards, chair of the Large Public Power Council, following introduction of the Private Sector Enhancement and Tax Payer Protection Act."

"Despite the rhetoric that accompanies its introduction, there should be no confusion about what Mr. English's bill does: it raises taxes "and thus electric rates, for millions of consumers throughout this country," Edwards said.

"In creating a new federal tax upon units of state and local governments, the effect of this bill is precisely the opposite of what is intended to be achieved by electric deregulation, namely to lower rates to consumers.

Edwards said that last year, in commenting on a virtually identical bill introduced by Mr. English, the National League of Cities, the Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Counties, and several other state and local government groups noted that "it is difficult to see how the imposition of a new federal tax advances the interests of consumers who are intended to benefit from increased competition in the electric utility industry." Edwards emphasized, "We agree with that assessment."

"What is most offensive about Mr. English's bill is that the new tax it introduces serves no public purpose other than to enhance the competitive positions and profits of privately owned utilities who already enjoy billions of dollars in zero cost financing at the expense of the federal Treasury. That's not fairness, and its not good policy.

"The Large Public Power Council stands ready to work with Mr. English and others on constructive efforts to address a fair transition for public power systems into the world of a competitive utility environment. Unfortunately, this bill is a step backward."

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The Large Public Power Council (LPPC) is an association of the nation's 21 largest public power utilities. It serves more than 40 million customers in some of the largest and fastest-growing areas of the country and counts some of America's biggest corporations among its clients.

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