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New tax cuts benefit Idaho utilities. What Intermountain Gas may return to customers

Idaho regulators ordered utilities to propose plans by next Friday, March 30, to cut customers’ bills in response to tax breaks the utilities will receive under the federal tax cuts enacted in December.
Idaho regulators ordered utilities to propose plans by next Friday, March 30, to cut customers’ bills in response to tax breaks the utilities will receive under the federal tax cuts enacted in December.

One of the two big regulated utilities serving the Treasure Valley says it can lower its rates in response to the federal tax cut Congress passed before Christmas and the state tax cut Gov. Butch Otter signed this month.

Intermountain Gas Co. filed a rate-decrease proposal Friday with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. It said customers would save a little over $10 a year under its proposal.

A portion of that would come from the $200 million state tax cut. Each of Idaho’s corporate tax rates are set to decrease by 0.475 percent.

The rest would come from the federal cut of $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, much of which comes from cutting the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

The PUC asked utilities in January to report by next Friday, March 30 the financial benefits they will receive from the federal tax reduction and to propose rate changes to account for them. Idaho Power, the other major utility that serves the Valley, said Friday that it is still working on its submission.

Intermountain Gas said its customers would save nearly $5 million. The average residential customer would save an average 2.2 percent. Commercial customers would see their rates cut an average 1.9 percent, for an annual savings averaging about $38.

The reductions would take effect April 1.

Idaho Power is still working on its submission, spokesman Jordan Rodriguez said.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @JohnWSowell

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