OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today released the following statement after members of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) voted on the motions filed by his office, asking for a reduction in customer utility rates from the state’s leading utility companies, after the corporate income tax rate went from 35 percent to 21 percent.
The OCC voted two-to-one, in favor of the attorney general’s alternative proposal, which requires utility companies to begin tracking savings each will receive from the federal income tax cut. The order also instructed companies to create an account for the savings received and refund those savings to customers after a review by the OCC at a later date.
Commissioner Bob Anthony was the only member to dissent, or not participate in the vote, saying he would rather see the savings returned to customers immediately, as urged by the attorney general.
Companies must provide the OCC estimates of tax savings within four months.
Commissioners struck down the attorney general’s main recommendation for immediate rate cuts by a two-to-one vote, with Commissioner Anthony being the only member in favor of the immediate customer rate reduction.
Attorney General Hunter said he hopes the OCC’s decision will ultimately lead to money back in the pockets of Oklahomans.
“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 have three days to file a motion for the commission to reconsider. However, utility companies must begin tracking customer savings immediately.