Extra fee on utility bills may continue for 5 years

ALBANY, N.Y. — You may not realize it, but every time you pay your utility bill, you're paying a little extra.

The tax increased significantly for five years, but it may extend for another five.

Several years ago the price of turning on the lights began traveling to New Yorkers with a little added fee, something you may not have even realized was part of your utility bill every month.

In 2009, that impact went up from 1/3 of one percent to two percent but was supposed to stay at that rate for only five years.

“That was quite a hefty increase, and it was supposed to sunset this year. And now the governor re-implemented that in his own executive budget to go another five years,” said Mark Kilmer, President and CEO of the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce.

During a time of continued economic hardship, Kilmer said lowering a fee created to fund operations of energy-related agencies would be a much welcome break to businesses already paying too much.

“It makes the operational cost much greater, and that presents a problem for New York State in terms of economic development and attracting new businesses,” said Kilmer.

The five year extension is not yet written in stone, so if you support or oppose the fee, contact your lawmakers to let them know.

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