PUCO has announced the schedule for the public hearings on the proposed Duke Streetcar Electric Bill Tax. Cincinnati area residents will be most interested in the hearings on February 20 at 6:30 pm at the Union Township Civic Center - 4359 Aicholtz Road, Cincinnati, OH 45245 and February 28 at 12:30 pm at City Hall.
COAST opposes the proposed Streetcar Electric Bill Tax because it would create a hidden tax and allow elected officials to shift the cost of the Streetcar and similar projects onto electric bills rather than being paid for with tax receipts. The plan also blurs the line between government and utilities - creating an incentive for irresponsible and unaccountable votes by City Council.
If the rate increase is denied, COAST anticipates that the City of Cincinnati will itself have to pay for the utility relocation costs, which is where the expense belongs.
Speak out and attend these hearings, make sure PUCO knows that you oppose this pernicious hidden tax.
While you await the hearings, you can submit your electronic comment here. Make sure to reference Case No. 12-1682-EL-AIR
Read the PUCO Press Release below:
COLUMBUS, OHIO (Jan. 18, 2013) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today scheduled four local public hearings to provide the public an opportunity to express their views regarding Duke Energy Ohio’s applications to increase rates for electric and natural gas distribution services. The hearings are scheduled as follows:
• Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. Fairfield Township Administrative Building 6032 Morris Road Hamilton, 45011
• Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. Union Township Civic Center Hall 4350 Aicholtz Road Cincinnati, 45245
• Monday, February 25, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. City Building, City Council Chambers 1 Donham Plaza Middletown, 45042
• Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. Cincinnati City Hall, Council Chambers 801 Plum Street Cincinnati, 45202
The evidentiary hearing for the electric rate case will be begin March 25, 2013 at 10 a.m. at the PUCO offices in Columbus, and the evidentiary hearing for the natural gas rate case will begin at the conclusion of the electric hearing.
On July 9, 2012, Duke filed separate applications to increase rates for both electric and natural gas distribution rates. Duke is seeking to increase electric distribution revenues by $86,581,974, or approximately 24.02 over current revenues. Duke is also seeking to increase natural gas distribution revenues by $44,607,929, or approximately 18.09 percent over current revenues.
The PUCO staff filed its reports of investigation in each case on Jan. 4, 2013.
While the Commission is considering these applications separately, those who testify at the local public hearing may offer comments on both electric and natural gas cases and their testimony will be added to both case records.
Customers may also submit comments online or by mail addressed to 180 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215. Correspondence should include the electric and/or natural gas case numbers 12-1682-EL-AIR and 12-1687-GA-AIR, respectively.