SENATE
HOUSE
JOINT
BILL STATUS
WV CODE
REPORTS
EDUCATIONAL
CONTACT
home
home

Introduced Version House Bill 117 History

OTHER VERSIONS  -  Enrolled Version - Final Version  |     |  Email


WEST virginia legislature

2019 FIRST EXTRAORDINARY session

Introduced

House Bill 117

By Delegates Hanshaw (Mr. Speaker) and Miley
By Request of the Executive

 [Introduced May 20, 2019]

 

A BILL to amend and reenact §11-13-3f of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §11-13F-1, §11-13F-2 and §11-13F-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §11-24-11 of said code; to amend and reenact §24-2A-5 of said code; and to amend and reenact §24-3-2 of said code, all relating to reduced rates for low-income residential customers of privately owned sewer and combined water and sewer utilities; providing for application for reduced rates; updating definitions; authorizing certain tax credits for cost of using reduced rates; and providing for retroactive effective date.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


CHAPTER 11.  TAXATION.

ARTICLE 13.  BUSINESS AND OCCUPATION TAX.

§11-13-3f. Tax credit for reducing electric, natural gas or water utility rates for low-income residential customers; regulations.

(a) There shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed

by this article, the cost of providing electric or natural gas or water utility service, or any combination of electric, natural gas or water utility services, at reduced rates to qualified low-income residential customers which has not been reimbursed by any other means.

(b) For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019, there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this article, the cost of providing sewer service or sewer and water service at reduced rates to qualified low-income residential customers which has not been reimbursed by any other means.

(b) (c) The tax commissioner may prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, of §11-13F-1 et seq. of this code and of §11-24-11 of this code.

ARTICLE 13F. BUSINESS AND OCCUPATION TAX CREDIT FOR REDUCING ELECTRIC, AND NATURAL GAS, Water, and Sewer UTILITY RATES FOR LOW-INCOME RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS.


§11-13F-1. Legislative Purpose.

In order to reimburse public utilities for the revenue deficiencies that they incur in providing special reduced electric or natural gas, or water, or sewer utility rates to low-income residential customers in accordance with the provisions of §24-2A-1 et seq. of this code, there is hereby provided a business and occupation tax credit for reducing electric, natural gas, or water, or sewer utility rates for low-income residential customers.

§11-13F-2. Definitions.


(a) Any term used in this article shall have the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in §11-13-1 et seq. of this code, unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context of its use or by definition in this article.

(b) For purposes of this article, the term:

(1) "Eligible taxpayer" means a utility which has provided electric or natural gas service, or both electric and natural gas service; or water or sewer service, or both water and sewer service, to qualified low-income residential customers at special reduced rates.

(2) "Cost of providing electric or natural gas utility service or both at special reduced rates" means the amount certified by the Public Service Commission under the provisions of section three, article two-a, chapter twenty-four §24-2A-2 of this code as the revenue deficiency incurred by a public utility in providing special reduced rates for electric, or natural gas, sewer, or water utility service as required by §24-2A-1 or approved pursuant to §24-2A-5  of this code.

(3) "Special reduced rates" means the rates ordered by the Public Service Commission under the authority of §24-2A-1 or §24-2A-5 of this code.

(4) "Qualified low-income residential customers" means those utility customers eligible to receive electric, or natural gas, water, or sewer utility service, or both, under special reduced rates.

§11-13F-3. Amount of credit.


(a) There shall be allowed to any eligible taxpayer a credit against the business and occupation taxes imposed by §11-13-1 et seq. of this code, for reducing electric and natural gas utility rates. The amount of the credit available to any eligible taxpayer shall be equal to its cost of providing electric or natural gas service, or both, at special reduced rates as certified by the Public Service Commission under the provisions of §24-2A-2 of this code to qualified residential customers, less any reimbursement of said cost which the taxpayer has received through any other means.

(b) For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019, there shall be allowed to any eligible taxpayer a credit against the business and occupation taxes imposed by §11-13-1 et seq. of this code, for reducing rates for providing electric, natural gas, sewer or water service, or any combination of electric, natural gas, water or sewer services. The amount of the credit available to any eligible taxpayer shall be equal to its cost of providing utility service at special reduced rates to qualified residential customers, less any reimbursement of said cost which the taxpayer has received through any other means.


ARTICLE 24. CORPORATION NET INCOME TAX.


§11-24-11. Credit for reducing electric or natural gas or water utility rates for low-income residential customers.

(a) General. -- A credit shall be allowed against the primary

tax liability of an eligible taxpayer under this article for the cost of providing electric or natural gas or water utility service, or any combination of electric, natural gas or water utility services, at special reduced rates to qualified low-income residential customers which has not been reimbursed by any other means.

(b) Definitions. -- For purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Eligible taxpayer” means a utility which has provided electric, or natural gas, or water, or sewer utility service, or any combination of electric, natural gas, or water, or sewer utility services, to qualified low-income residential customers at special reduced rates.

(2) “Cost of providing electric or natural gas or water or sewer utility service, or any combination of electric, or natural gas, or water, or sewer utility services, at special reduced rates” means the amount certified by the Public Service Commission under the provisions of§24-2A-2 of this code, as the revenue deficiency incurred by a public utility in providing special reduced rates for electric or natural gas or water or sewer utility service, or any combination of electric, natural gas or water or sewer utility services, as required by §24-2A-1 of this code or authorized by §24-2A-5 of this code.

(3) “Special reduced rates” means the rates ordered or approved by the Public Service Commission under the authority of §24-2A-1 or §24-2A-5 of this code.

(4) “Qualified low-income residential customers” means those utility customers eligible to receive electric, or natural gas, or water or sewer utility service, or any combination of electric, natural gas, or water or sewer utility services, under special reduced rates.

(c) Amount of credit. —

(1) For tax years beginning prior to January 1, 2019, the amount of the credit available to any eligible taxpayer shall be equal to its cost of providing electric, or natural gas, or water utility service, or any combination of electric, natural gas, or water utility services, at special reduced rates to qualified residential customers, less any reimbursement of said cost which the taxpayer has received through any other means.

(2) For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019,  the amount of the credit available to any eligible taxpayer shall be equal to its cost of providing electric, or natural gas, or water or sewer utility service, or any combination of electric, natural gas, water or sewer utility services, at special reduced rates to qualified residential customers, less any reimbursement of said cost which the taxpayer has received through any other means.

 (d) When credit may be taken. -- An eligible taxpayer may claim a credit allowed under this section on its annual return for the taxable year in which it receives certification of the amount of its revenue deficiency from the Public Service Commission.

Notwithstanding the provisions of §11-24-16 of this code to the contrary, no credit may be claimed on any declaration of estimated tax filed for such taxable year prior to July 1 of such taxable year. Such credit may be claimed on a declaration or amended declaration filed on or after that date but only if the amount certified will not be recovered by application of the business and occupation tax credit allowed by §11-13-3f of this code. In such event, only that amount not recovered by that credit may be considered or taken as a credit when estimating the tax due under this article. In no event may the eligible taxpayer recover more than 100 percent of its revenue deficiency as certified by the Public Service Commission.

(e) Application of credit. -- The credit allowable by this section for a taxable year is not subject to the 50 percent limitation specified in §11-24-9 of this code. Notwithstanding the provisions of §11-13F-4 of this code, any unused credit may be carried over and applied against business and occupation taxes in the manner specified in §11-13F-5 of this code.

(f) Copy of certification order. -- A copy of a certification order from the Public Service Commission shall be attached to any annual return under this article on which a credit allowed by this section is taken.

ARTICLE 2A. REDUCED RATES FOR LOW-INCOME RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS OF ELECTRICITY, NATURAL GAS, WATER, OR SEWER.


§24-2A-5. Special rates for certain water, sewer, or combined water and sewer utility customers.

(a) The commission may authorize a privately owned water, sewer or combined water and sewer utility to voluntarily implement a rate design featuring reduced rates and charges for service for residential utility customers receiving:

(1) Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI);

(2) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);

(3) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families-Unemployed Parent Program (TANF-UP);or

(4) Assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) if they are sixty years of age or older.

(b) The special reduced rate offered by each water, sewer, or combined water and sewer utility to its eligible customers shall be a percentage less, which shall be approved by the commission, than the rate that would be applicable to such customers if they were not receiving any of the four forms of assistance that confer eligibility for the special reduced rates approved by the commission: Provided, That such rate reduction shall not exceed 20 percent of the rate that would be otherwise applicable.

(c) Before any individual may qualify to receive the special reduced rates, the following requirements must be met:

(1) The special reduced rates may apply only to current customers or to those persons who subsequently become customers in their own right. If an SSI, TANF, TANF-UP or SNAP recipient is living in a household that is served under the name of a person who is not an SSI, TANF, TANF-UP or SNAP recipient, that service may not be changed or have been changed subsequent to July 1 , 2011, to the name of the SSI, TANF, TANF-UP or SNAP recipient in order to qualify for service under the special reduced rates.

(2) The burden of proving eligibility for the special reduced rates shall be on the customer requesting such rates. The Department of Health and Human Resources shall establish by rules and procedures:

(A) To inform persons receiving any of the four forms of assistance that confer eligibility for the special reduced rates about the availability of the special reduced rates;

(B) To assist applicants for the special reduced rates in proving their eligibility therefor; and

(C) To assist water, sewer, or combined water and sewer utilities offering the special reduced rates in determining on a continuing basis the eligibility therefor of persons receiving or applying for such rates.

The commission shall establish rules and procedures for the application for and provision of service under the special reduced rates and for the determination and certification of revenue deficiencies resulting from the special reduced rates.

(3) In order to provide each eligible residential utility customer the special reduced rates, each utility providing the special reduced rates shall credit against amounts otherwise owed by each customer an amount equal to the difference between the total amount that each customer was actually billed during the previous month and the total amount that each customer would have been entitled to be billed under the special reduced rates. Each credit shall be fully reflected on the first bill issued to each customer after approval of each customer's application for the special reduced rates, except in cases where the interval between the approval and the issuance of the next bill is so short that it is administratively impracticable to do so, in which case, such credits shall be fully reflected on the second bill issued to each customer after approval of that customer's application. If the interval between the approval and the issuance of the next bill is 15 days or more, it may not be deemed administratively impracticable to reflect the credit on the customer's first bill.

ARTICLE 3. DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF PUBLIC UTILITIES SUBJECT TO REGULATIONS OF COMMISSION.


§24-3-2. Discrimination prohibited.

No public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter shall, directly or indirectly, by any special rate, rebate, drawback or other device or method, charge, demand, collect or receive from any person, firm or corporation, a greater or less compensation, for any service rendered or to be rendered, than it charges, demands, collects, or receives from any other person, firm or corporation for doing a like and contemporaneous service under the same or substantially similar circumstances and conditions.

It shall be unlawful for any public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter to make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person, company, firm, corporation or locality, or any particular character of traffic or service, in any respect whatsoever, or to subject any particular person, firm, corporation, company or locality, or any particular character of traffic or service, to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the commission from:

(a) Authorizing or requiring any rate design consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in §24-2A-1 et seq. of this code; or

(b) Authorizing a private water, sewer, or combined water and sewer utility to voluntarily implement a rate design featuring reduced rates and charges for service to qualifying low-income residential customers.

 

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide reduced rates for low-income residential customers of privately-owned water, sewer or combined water and sewer utilities.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2019 West Virginia Legislature **


X

Print On Demand

Name:
Email:
Phone:

Print