Illinois Opens Proceeding To Consider Imposing New Tax On Retail Suppliers
February 20, 2018 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
The Illinois Commerce Commission has opened a proceeding pursuant to amended Section 2-202(i-5) of the Public Utilities Act to consider the initiation of assessments and fees to be potentially levied on alternative retail electric and natural gas suppliers to fund the Commission's operations (Docket 18-0375)
As previously reported, included in the legislation that became Public Act 99-906, which took effect on June 1, 2017, were amendments to Section 2-202 of the Public Utilities Act (220 ILCS 5/2-202) addressing the question of funding for the Illinois Commerce Commission ("the Commission"). Under the process contained in the new provisions added as Section 2-202(i-5), the Commission may recover from regulated entities the difference, if any, between the amount appropriated by the General Assembly to the Commission for the ordinary and contingent expenses of the agency and the moneys expected to be available to the agency from the Public Utility Fund for those expenses.
For fiscal year 2018, which began on July 1, 2017, and ends on June 30, 2018, the Commission may assess electric and gas utilities for the shortfall between the amount appropriated by the legislature and the amount available through the Public Utility Fund.
After these initial assessments have been made on electric and gas utilities, the statute directs the Commission to initiate a proceeding to consider the expansion of the assessment process to bring other regulated entities within its scope, including alternative retail electric and gas suppliers
As previously reported, Section 2-202(i-5) states: "Within 6 months after the first time assessments are made under this subsection (i-5), the Commission shall initiate a docketed proceeding in which it shall consider, in addition to assessments from electric and gas utilities subject to this subsection, the raising of assessments from, or the payment of fees by, water and sewer utilities, entities possessing certificates of service authority as alternative retail electric suppliers under Section 16-115 of this Act, entities possessing certificates of service authority as alternative gas suppliers under Section 19-110 of this Act, and telecommunications carriers providing local exchange telecommunications service or interexchange telecommunications service under Sections 13-204 or 13-205 of this Act."
The amended statute further provides that, "The amounts so determined shall be based on the costs to the agency of the exercise of its regulatory and supervisory functions with regard to the different industries and service providers subject to the proceeding."
Depending on the speed of the ICC's consideration of the issue, a Staff report noted that any assessment adopted under the proceeding could be implemented as soon as fiscal year 2019, if the docket can be completed by October 2018