OCC votes to track utility companies' savings after corporate tax cut, refund customers later

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted Tuesday to require utility companies to begin tracking savings after the federal income tax cut.

Attorney General Mike Hunter had proposed that companies reduce customers' rates for utilities after the corporate income tax rate dropped from 35 percent to 21 percent.

The OCC voted 2-1 in favor of Hunter's alternative proposal, which was to require companies to track savings. The alternative proposal also instructs companies to create an account for savings received, and refund savings to customers after an OCC review at a "later date."

RELATED: Oklahoma attorney general files motion for utility customer rate reduction after corporate tax cut

Commissioner Bob Anthony did not vote, and said he would rather see the savings returned to customers immediately.

“We appreciate the commission acting quickly on our motions,” Attorney General Hunter said. “While we would have preferred customers see immediate savings, putting the money aside and distributing it at a later date will give Oklahomans future relief.

“We hope the OCC will press forward without delay in completing its review of the amount to be refunded to customers, and in lowering customers’ rates going forward.

“The Utility Regulation Unit in the Attorney General’s Office remains committed to working with both the OCC and the utility companies to ensure Oklahomans will see the full benefit of the companies’ tax relief.”

Utility companies must begin tracking savings immediately. 

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