ST. GEORGE — Power companies in Southern Utah are hoping their customers will reap the benefits from the recent federal tax cuts to corporations.
The changes to federal tax policy, which went into effect Jan. 1, give tax breaks to corporations. However, it will still take some time before the full impact of the tax changes will be felt by corporations and individuals.
Officials from Rocky Mountain Power, which provides power to Cedar City, Ivins and Winchester Hills, said they hope to eventually pass the benefits of the federal tax cuts onto their customers.
“We assume, just from our initial reading of the tax cuts, that we will be able to find some tax savings at the corporate level,” said Spencer Hall, marketing and communications manager for Rocky Mountain Power. “Our intent is to return 100 percent of that to our customers.”
Because of the time it will take to figure out the specifics of the tax cuts, Hall said, it could take several months before the company will be able to offer proposals on how best to pass those benefits to customers. Also, any changes to save customers money, such as rate reductions, will require the approval of the Utah Public Service Commission after the change is proposed, Hall said.
Another Southern Utah power company, Dixie Power, which serves most of St. George south of the Virgin River, is a nonprofit entity, which means it will not be directly affected by the federal tax cuts, according to company officials.
Dixie Power CEO Ladel Laub said that whenever the company makes a margin it will give that money back to the consumers in the form of a refund.
“Essentially, any income we do make would go back to the consumers,” Laub said. “So they would get the tax benefits directly out of that because they now will have less tax liability on their personal income.”
The St. George City energy department provides the power to most of St. George north of the Virgin River. Officials from the energy department did not respond to St. George News’ requests for comment on how the federal tax cuts may affect them, if at all.
“Generally speaking, the tax cuts will be good for the economy because it will allow people to spend more money on other things,” Laub said. “The less taxable income people have, the more disposable income they’ll be able to use.”
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