Ranzenhofer opposes 2% utility tax extension

  • Surcharge set to expire March 2014
  • Executive budget calls for 5-year extension
  • Businesses, consumers to pay $3 billion more in taxes


Albany, N.Y. – State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R, C, I – Amherst) has announced his opposition to a five-year extension of the 18-a surcharge as proposed in the Executive Budget.  The energy tax surcharge is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2014.  

“The 2009-10 State Budget, which I voted against, irresponsibly imposed this tax increase, forcing each and every ratepayer in the State to pay higher taxes on their utility bills.  Now, it’s time to turn off the lights on this tax hike,” said Ranzenhofer.  

The Governor’s proposed extension would cost businesses and consumers a total of almost $3 billion.  According to figures from National Grid, the financial impact of the energy tax extension is estimated to be $30,000 per year for a typical large business; $540 per year for a typical small business; and $55 per year for an average household utility bill. 

“Simply put, this is a job-killing tax.  With businesses hesitant to expand due to a slowly recovering economy, and with many residents still looking for work after the national recession, this proposal does not help.  After all of the progress made over the last two budget cycles to improve the business climate, extending this surcharge would be a step in the wrong direction for our State’s economy,” said Ranzenhofer.  

The Business Council of New York State, National Federation of Independent Businesses, New York Farm Bureau, and Unshackle Upstate support ending the utility tax surcharge as scheduled.

The 2009-10 State Budget increased the assessment from one-third of a percent to one percent, then added a one-percent surcharge.  The energy tax surcharge applies to electric, gas, steam and non-municipal water services.  Senator Ranzenhofer voted against the utility tax increase in 2009. He is the author of legislation to repeal the surcharge.  

Section 18-a of the Public Service Law authorizes an assessment on utility bills to fund the operations of energy-related agencies and authorities, such as the Department of Public Service and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.  The additional revenue raised from the increase is deposited in the State’s general fund.  Under the 2009 law, the increase is scheduled to be reduced to one percent in SFY 2014-15.

The 61st Senate District encompasses: the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, and Newstead and the Villages of Akron and Williamsville in Erie County; all of Genesee County; and the Towns of Chili and Riga, the Village of Churchville and part of the City of Rochester in Monroe County.