Ken Paxton Joins Democratic Attorneys General to Win Reduced Rates for Utility Customers

AUSTIN — Attorney General Ken Paxton is once again joining up with his counterparts in a coordinated campaign prodding the federal government. But this time, he’s teamed up with the likes of California’s Xavier Becerra and New York’s Eric Schneiderman.Paxton joined officials from 15 other states urging the Federal Regulatory Commission to make sure that public utility companies reduce consumers’ rates as they benefit from from new tax cuts in conjunction to benefiting from the new tax overhaul plan. The federal corporate income tax rate was reduced from 35 to 21 percent on Jan. 1, so businesses — including public utilities — pay lower taxes and have more money, the 16-state coalition argued.Tom “Smitty” Smith, who recently retired as state director of consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said Paxton’s support of a heavily Democrat-represented push is not surprising because there’s a long history of utilities getting tax breaks and then not passing them on to consumers. He added because the state itself is a large consumer of electricity, the attorney general’s office appears frequently at the Public Utility Commission of Texas as a strong advocate for consumer interest.  Continue reading...

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