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Introduced Version House Bill 2154 History

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hb2154 intr
H. B. 2154


          (By Delegates Williams and Hartman)
          [Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the
          Committee on Finance.]




A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §11-13DD-1; and amending said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §24-2G-1, §24-2G-2, §24-2G-3 and §24-2G-4, all relating to authorizing a corporation net income tax credit for reducing charges for home heating fuel and propane gas provided to low-income residents; defining terms; determining the amount of credit that may be taken; providing the Public Service Commission with the authority to set special rates; determining the recovery of revenue deficiencies; limiting and exempting those utilities from certain municipal taxes; and granting the
Department of Health Human Services and the Public Service Commission with rule-making authority.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
     That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §11-13DD-1; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §24-2G-1, §24-2G-2, §24-2G-3 and §24-2G-4, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 11. TAXATION.

ARTICLE 13DD. BUSINESS AND OCCUPATION TAX CREDIT FOR REDUCING _HEATING FUEL AND PROPANE GAS CHARGES FOR _LOW-INCOME RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS.
§11-13DD-1. Credit for reducing heating fuel and propane gas charges for low-income residential customers.
_
(a) General. -- A credit shall be allowed against the primary tax liability of an eligible taxpayer under this article for the cost of providing heating fuel or propane gas service at special reduced rates to qualified low-income residential customers that have not been reimbursed by any other means.
_(b)
Definitions. -- For purposes of this section, the term:
_(1) "Eligible taxpayer" means a utility or other corporate entity subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission that provides heating fuel or propane gas
service to qualified low-income residential customers at special reduced rates.
_(2) "Cost of providing heating fuel or propane gas
service at special reduced rates" means the amount certified by the Public Service Commission to qualifying low-income consumers pursuant to subsection (a), section one, article two-g, chapter twenty-four of this code, as the revenue deficiency incurred by a utility or other corporate entity in providing heating fuel or propane gas service at special reduced rates, as provided by that section.
_(3) "Special reduced rates" means the rates ordered by the Public Service Commission.
_(4) "Qualified low-income residential customers" means customers eligible to receive heating fuel or propane gas service at special reduced rates as set forth in subsection (a), section one, article two-g, chapter twenty-four of this code.
_(c)
Amount of credit. -- The amount of the credit available to any eligible taxpayer shall be equal to its costs of providing heating fuel or propane gas
service at special reduced rates to qualified low-income residential customers less any reimbursement of the cost which the taxpayer has received through any other means.
_(d)
When credit may be taken. -- (1) An eligible taxpayer may claim a credit allowed under this section on its annual return for the taxable year for which it receives certification of the amount of its revenue deficiency from the Public Service Commission.
_(2) Notwithstanding any provision of
this code to the contrary, no credit may be claimed on any declaration of estimated tax filed for such taxable year prior to July 1 of that taxable year. The credit may be claimed on a declaration or amended declaration filed on or after that date. The eligible taxpayer may not recover more than one hundred percent of its revenue deficiency as certified by the Public Service Commission.
_(e)
Application of credit. -- The credit allowable by this section for a taxable year is not subject to the fifty percent limitation specified in section nine, article twenty-four of this chapter. Notwithstanding section four, article thirteen-g of this chapter, any unused credit may be carried over and applied against the eligible taxpayer's tax liability in the manner specified in section five, article thirteen-g of this chapter.
_(f)
Copy of certification order. -- A copy of the certification order from the Public Service Commission shall be attached to any annual return on which a credit allowed by this section is taken.
CHAPTER 24. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.

ARTICLE 2G. REDUCED RATES FOR LOW-INCOME RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS OF ELECTRICITY AND GAS.
§24-2G-1. Special rates for home heating fuel and propane gas utility customers receiving Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Aid to Families with Dependent Children--Unemployed (AFDC-U) or food stamps.
_______________(a) The commission shall order each
utility subject to its jurisdiction that provides home heating fuel and propane gas , except municipal or cooperative gas or electric utilities, to offer special reduced rates applicable to home heating fuel and propane gas service for the billing months of December, January, February, March and April of each year (beginning with the billing month of December, 2013), to residential utility customers receiving: (1) Social security supplemental security income (SSI); (2) aid to families with dependent children (AFDC); (3) aid to families with dependent children-- unemployed (AFDC-U); or (4) food stamps, if such food stamp recipients are sixty years of age or older. The special reduced rate offered by each heating fuel and propane gas utility to its eligible customers shall be twenty percent less than the rate which would be applicable to such customers if they were not receiving any of the four forms of assistance that confer eligibility for the special reduced rates. A customer of a utility offering special reduced rates shall be eligible to receive such rates for each of the billing months of December, January, February, March and April that correlates to a calendar month during which that customer is eligible to participate in one or more of the qualifying programs specified in this section, except as otherwise provided in this section. The correlation of billing months to calendar months of eligibility to participate in a qualifying program is as follows: (1) A December billing month correlates to the calendar month of November; (2) a January billing month correlates to the calendar month of December; (3) a February billing month correlates to the calendar month of January; (4) a March billing month correlates to the calendar month of February; and (5) an April billing month correlates to the calendar month of March. After the billing month of April, 2013, no customer shall be eligible to receive the special reduced rates until the billing month in which that customer applies for such rates. For the billing months of December, 2013, and January, February, March and April, 2014, a customer shall be eligible to receive a utility's special reduced rates for any of those billing months that correlates to a calendar month during which that customer is eligible to participate in one or more of the qualifying programs specified in this section, regardless of the date on which that customer applies for such rates: Provided, That the date of application falls on or prior to May 15, 2014. No customer who applies for the special reduced rates after May 15, 2014 shall be eligible to receive such rates for any of the billing months of December, 2013 or January, February, March or April, 2014. Before any individual may qualify to receive the special reduced rates, the requirements of subsections (b) through (d) of this section must be met.
_______________(b) The special reduced rates shall apply only to current customers or to those persons who subsequently become customers in their own right. If an SSI, AFDC, AFDC- U or food stamp recipient is living in a household which is served under the name of a person who is not an SSI, AFDC, AFDC-U or food stamp recipient, that service may not be changed or have been changed subsequent to April 15, 2013, to the name of the SSI, AFDC, AFDC-U or food stamp recipient in order to qualify for service under the special reduced rates.
_______________(c) The burden of proving eligibility for the special reduced rates shall be on the customer requesting such rates. The Department of Health Human Services shall establish by rule procedures: (1) To inform persons receiving any of the four forms of assistance which confer eligibility for the special reduced rates about the availability of the special reduced rates; (2) to assist applicants for the special reduced rates in proving their eligibility therefor; and (3) to assist
heating fuel and propane gas utilities offering the special reduced rates in determining on a continuing basis the eligibility of persons receiving or applying for such rates. The commission shall establish by rule procedures for the application for and provision of service under the special reduced rates and for the determination and certification of revenue deficiencies resulting from the special reduced rates. Within ten days of the effective date of this article, the commission and the Department of Health Human Services shall adopt temporary rules and regulations, as required by this section, which rules and regulations shall not be subject to the requirements of chapter twenty-nine-a and section seven, article one of chapter twenty-four except that they shall be filed with the Secretary of State and published in the State Register. These temporary rules shall remain in effect until supplanted by permanent rules and regulations, which shall be adopted by the commission and the Department of Health Human Services within one hundred eighty days of the effective date of this article.
_______________(d) In order to provide each eligible residential utility customer the special reduced rates for the billing months of December, 2013, through April, 2014, (hereinafter referred to as the first special-reduced-rate season), each utility providing the special reduced rates shall credit against the amount otherwise owed by each customer an amount equal to the difference between the total amount that each such customer was actually billed during the first special-reduced-rate season and the total amount that each customer would have been entitled to be billed under the special reduced rates. Each such credit shall be fully reflected on the first bill issued to each such customer after approval of each such customer's application for the special reduced rates, except in cases where the interval between the approval and the issuance of the next bill is so short that it is administratively impracticable to do so, in which cases such credits shall be fully reflected on the second bill issued to each such customer after approval of that customer's application. If the interval between the approval and the issuance of the next bill is fifteen days or more, it shall not be deemed administratively impracticable to reflect such credit on the customer's first such bill.
§24-2G-2. Recovery of revenue deficiencies.
_In order to provide the special reduced rates authorized by section one of this article and still maintain the integrity of the earnings of the utilities offering service under these rates, the commission shall each year, determine, upon application by any affected utility, that utility's revenue deficiency resulting from the special reduced rates. Upon determining any utility's revenue deficiency, the commission shall issue an order certifying the amount of that deficiency. Certified revenue deficiencies shall be recovered by the affected utilities as follows:
_(1) A utility's certified revenue deficiency, if any, resulting from the special reduced rates shall be allowed as a tax credit against the liability of the utility pursuant to section one, article thirteen-dd, chapter eleven of this code.
_(2) After allowance of a tax credit pursuant to section one, article thirteen-dd, chapter eleven of this code
, a utility's remaining revenue deficiency, if any, resulting from the special reduced rates, shall be allowed as a tax credit against the liability of the utility pursuant to section eleven, article twenty-four of chapter eleven.
§24-2G-3. Limitation on and exemption from local business and occupation or privilege taxes and local public utility excise taxes.
_______________(a) Any municipality that presently or hereafter imposes a business and occupation or privilege tax under section five, article thirteen, chapter eight of this code or a public utilities excise tax under section five-a, article thirteen of that chapter shall be restricted, in the case of utility services rendered to a customer under the special reduced rates, to levying such taxes on: (1) In the case of a local business and occupation or privilege tax, the gross revenues derived under the special reduced rates for any period during which that customer receives service under the special reduced rates; and (2) in the case of a local public utilities excise tax, to the gross amount of that customer's utility bill as calculated under the special reduced rates.
_______________(b) No recovery of revenue deficiencies provided in section two of this article shall be subject to tax under sections five or five-a, article thirteen of chapter eight.
§24-2G-4. Definitions.
_______________As used in this article, the term:
_______________(1) "Billing cycle" shall mean a period of time during the course of which a utility either bills for or measures, by meter- reading or any other means, the usage of its utility services by all of its customers a single time. A utility may elect whether it wishes to determine its billing cycles by date of measurement or by date of billing. A utility which employs twelve billing cycles per year shall be deemed to employ monthly billing cycles. A utility which employs more or fewer than twelve billing cycles per year shall be deemed to employ nonmonthly billing cycles. For a utility employing monthly billing cycles, a billing cycle identified by the name of a particular calendar month must include at least twelve days of that calendar month.
_______________(2) "Billing month" shall have two meanings:
_______________(A) As applied to a utility employing nonmonthly billing cycles and to its customers, a particular "billing month" shall mean the calendar month to which that billing month correlates under section one of this article.
_______________(B) As applied to a utility employing monthly billing cycles and to its customers, a particular "billing month" shall mean the period of customer usage reflected on any bill which, in the case of a utility with billing-date billing cycles, is issued during that particular monthly billing cycle, or for which, in the case of a utility with measurement- date billing cycles, the measurement of usage is made during that particular monthly billing cycle.


               NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize a corporation net income tax credit for reducing charges for home heating fuel and propane gas provided to low-income residents. The bill defines terms. The bill determines the amount of credit that may be taken. The bill provides the Public Service Commission with the authority to set special rates. The bill determines the recovery of revenue deficiencies. The bill limits and exempts those utilities from certain municipal taxes. The bill grants the
Department of Health Human Services and the Public Service Commission with rule-making authority.

                These articles are new; therefore, they have been completely underscored.
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