Shining a light on New York’s hidden electricity taxes

To the editor,

Tax Day comes but once a year, except for New Yorkers. For us, Tax Day comes once a month—with every utility bill. We pay the third highest price for electricity in the country, and about 25 percent of that is taxes.

Our aggregate utility tax burden costs us at least $1.6 billion dollars annually—and costs us jobs and opportunity by driving away businesses that can’t afford to pay that much for energy.

Adding insult to injury, our state’s latest budget does nothing to relieve us of the Gross Receipts Tax; the “temporary,” but thus far permanent, 18-a surcharge; the System Benefits Charge; and the Renewable Portfolio Standard and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard surcharges. Any one of these could, and should, have been eliminated or cut.

Unfortunately for long-suffering New Yorkers enduring the utility-tax version of “Groundhog Day,” all we can hope for is better luck next year.


Rob DiFrancesco
Executive Director
New York AREA

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