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New Rockland County Tax on O&R Bills Takes Effect Today

Utility: Average customer will pay about $10 more per month.

Residential gas and electric bills in Rockland County just got a little more expensive today.

The new goes into effect today, adding 4 percent more in taxes to electric and gas bills. For Orange and Rockland Utilities customers, the utility says that means about a $10 increase on the average monthly bill — for the next 20 years.

You'lls see the new Energy Sales Tax listed as a line item on your utility bill.   

ELECTRIC - The impact of the tax on a typical O&R residential full-service electric bill is $4.67 per month, or $56.04 per year.

GAS -The impact on a typical O&R residential full-service gas bill is $5.37 per month, or $64.44 per year.  

COMBINATION - The monthly impact of the County of Rockland Energy Sales Tax on a typical O&R residential full-service combination electric and gas bill is $10.04 or $120.48 per year.

The tax was imposed this year by Rockland County as one of its measures to cope with a massive budget deficit. O&R says it continues to oppose governments attempts to raise new revenue through utility bills.

The Rockland County Legislature approved the new tax in May, seeing it as a new source of $12 million in revenue for the .

The increase does not apply to Rockland business, commercial or industrial energy customers, who already pay this sales tax.

The tax applies to the entire electric, gas and combination electric and gas bills for approximately 55,000 full-service customers of O&R’s 100,000 residential customers in Rockland County. “Full-service” means the customer buys energy supply (electric or gas) from O&R and O&R delivers that energy to the customer.   

Under New York State tax law, about 45,000 of O&R’s 100,000 Rockland residential customers who purchase the energy portion of their O&R utility bill from a supplier other than O&R are exempt from the Energy Sales Tax on the O&R delivery charge portion of the bill. Based on current market prices for electric and gas supply, those customers would only pay the sales tax on the supply portion, which is approximately 40 percent (taxes and fees included) of their combined O&R/Energy supplier electric and gas bills. Customers who contract with an energy supplier other than O&R for electric and gas supply will pay approximately $4 more per month under the new energy sales tax as opposed to $10 per month more for O&R full-service combination gas and electric customers.    

The new Rockland tax is in addition to the existing taxes and government fees that typical O&R residential full-service customers already pay monthly through their bills. Taxes and fees include:

- Local property taxes

- The Gross Receipts Tax

- The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) tax

- Federal and state income taxes

- The NYS 18a assessment

- The System Benefits Charge (SBC)

- The Renewable Portfolio Standard Charge (RPS)

- Payroll taxes.

These are in addition to the sales taxes O&R pays on purchases of equipment, materials and services which are embedded in our costs to supply energy delivery service.

The typical O&R full-service electric customer currently pays $20.03 or 17 percent of the monthly bill to taxes and government fees. The typical O&R full-service gas customer currently pays $18.30 or 14 percent of the monthly bill in taxes and government fees.

John Taggart September 02, 2012 at 05:17 AM
This is just gutless. The county spent every penny in good times setting its self up to go broke in bad times. So instead of just raising county tax they invent a surcharge on a necessity which they cant accurately count because it fluctuates with use and people have a way out of half of it I have always avoided changing providers because I like to keep my local money local. Now I have an insentive to switch to another provider from who knows where and further reduce the money the county says it needs
Andromachos September 02, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Nothing says "Vote me out" like recklessly raising taxes.
Watchdog September 02, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Here is the problem with that. Rockland County has 4 political parties and they collude with each other to bring you the candidates...so even if you say... " vote them out " , who will you vote in? When you ad the fact that you have UNIONS and BLOC voters who ask co trol who is elected....WE ARE DOOMED.
Rockpea September 02, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Out out of Rockland before it to late.
Michael N. Hull September 02, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Andromachos; When the parties collude to run only one candidate on the five party lines the only 'choice' you have is which lever will you pull to vote for the same candidate. http://newcity.patch.com/blog_posts/puppet-on-a-string http://www.rocklandtimes.com/2012/08/09/house-of-horrors/ http://www.rocklandtimes.com/2012/08/30/house-of-horrors-story-spooks-town-board/ The people who supply the party lines then get high paying patronage jobs in the Town. http://www.lohud.com/article/20120823/OPINION/308230035/Editorial-Clarkstown-puts-political-clout-before-all-else-hiring-Frank-Sparaco We trumpet our 'freedoms' and our political institutions to the world but the only freedom you have is what the power brokers in secret meetings say you will have. Pleasant reading and good luck in the voting booth. You will never get to vote out Ed Lettre or Frank Sparaco and in my opinion those are the ones that the record shows the Town Board is beholden to. For example, just read Shirley Lasker's confession to the Rockland County Times in the link I provided above.

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