“Senator Joe Markley files papers with State Supreme Court to Stop Illegal Tax”

March 7, 2011

Senator Joe Markley speaking with reporters on the steps of the State Supreme Court

Hartford, CT – Senator Joe Markley (R – 16) today filed a legal brief with the State Supreme Court in his case against the Department of Public Utility Control. Senator Markley is arguing the surcharge on utility bills is an unfair and illegal tax and should be stopped.

“This tax is unfair for two reasons: It is levied by a state agency, which doesn’t have the authority to do so; and there are six towns that would be exempt from paying the tax,” said Senator Markley. “As a result, not all Connecticut citizens are being hit with the extended utility charges to help shore up the state’s budget.”

The residents who would not be asked to pay the surcharge are exempt because they have electric generating facilities in their towns that are not subject to the surcharge. The towns exempt are Wallingford, Norwich, Bozrah, Groton, Norwalk and Lebanon.

The utility charges originally were added to consumers’ bills to help utilities recover some of the value of power plants they could no longer use.

While the legislature doesn’t admit this surcharge is a tax, Governor Malloy admitted in his State of the State Address that the fee on bills is a tax.

According to state treasury officials the state hopes to offer an approximately $700 million securitization of utility charges in April. However, until Senator Markley’s case is decided the money can not be offered.

“I will be really happy when they throw the tax out. That’s when I’ll be really excited. At least this is a step in the right direction,” said Senator Markley.

The case is expected to be heard on March 23, 2011 at noon.