Jersey Central Power and Light Letter
Steve Lonegan, Republican candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District, has just sent a letter to PSE&G, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCPL), and Orange & Rockland Utilities requesting they reduce New Jersey residents’ utilityrates on an expedited basis due to the cost savings realized from Congress’ sweeping tax relief bill. See the letter below.
February 12, 2018
Mr. Ralph Izzo
80 Park Plaza
P.O. Box 570
Newark, New Jersey 07101
Mr. James V. Fakult
Jersey Central Power and Light
CC: Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, New Jersey Commerce Commission, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
Dear Mr. Izzo, Mr. Fakult, and Mr. Sanchez:
Congress’ enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowered the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. This long-needed change in the law has provided benefits to over 3 million working Americans who have received bonuses in pay, obtained pay raises, higher 401(k) matches, and other benefits including voluntary minimum wage hikes.
In just a few weeks’ time, the effects on New Jersey have already been astounding. For example, OceanFirst Bank increased its minimum worker pay to $15 an hour; Quest Diagnostics and Unity Bank gave $500-750 bonuses to their employees, and Advanced Sciences & Technologies and Honeywell increased their 401(k) matches. Many other corporations have increased their charitable donations and capital expenditures.
But this is just the beginning. New Jersey’s hardworking families should and will have even more of these cost savings passed onto them. And that begins with a rate reduction for New Jersey’s working families.
I am writing to you today to suggest a reduction in New Jersey residents’ utility rates as the next significant, post-tax bill action item. Utilities and services consistently rank as one of American families’ ten most substantial expenditures. Obtaining some degree of a break from these costly bills is long overdue, and no time is better than now for it to occur.
This is not an either-or scenario. Gas and electric companies like yours can still reap sweeping profits from Congress’ tax relief legislation while helping their loyal customers.
Lowering New Jerseyans’ rates wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. Because of Congress’ tax relief package, Eversource in Massachusetts promptly reduced rates by $35 million instead of increasing them by $12.2 million, as previously scheduled, while Commonwealth Edison (Exelon) in Chicago may similarly pass as much as $200 million in tax savings this year.
Many other states are following their lead. Last week, the Illinois Commerce Commission and Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities ordered the state’s electric, gas, and water companies to recalculate consumer costs. Kentucky and Montana have also instructed utility firms to begin calculating and tracking their tax savings, while Indiana and Louisiana started the process of reviewing the issue as well. Why shouldn’t New Jersey be next?
I hope you will consider following the recent nationwide trends and give the hardworking people of this state the relief they deserve. With your help, we can make 2018 one of the most pro-consumer, pro-growth years the Garden State has seen to date.
Former Bogota, NJ Mayor
Candidate for U.S. Congress, Fifth District
Cc: Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, New Jersey Commerce Commission, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities