POSTED: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 4:22pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 9:58am
We all know how taxes work.
If you earn enough, you pay.
If you don’t, you get your taxes refunded.
Unless you are an Oncor customer.
Oncor is part of a big corporate conglomerate.
It’s called Energy Future Holdings, and it owns TXU Energy, Luminant and Oncor.
And it’s in trouble.
One of the biggest buyouts in history back in 2007 is soon to be one of the biggest bankruptcies.
And because they are in the red, they don’t pay any corporate income taxes.
But Oncor still collects them from you.
“Oncor, the electric utility that serves north Texas, is collecting in rates in excess of $230-million for federal income taxes. However, neither OnCor nor its majority owner Energy future Holdings, owe, pay federal income taxes at the moment. So in essence, what’s happening is, Oncor is collecting this money for a federal income tax bill that does not exist,” says Jake Dyer of the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power
These taxes are collected by the delivery company OnCor just as though it was a private corporation paying its own taxes.
But it doesn’t.
“We’ve paid them over $14-million over the past 5 years for them to pay taxes,” says Chris Schein of OnCor.
“But they don’t owe any taxes because they don’t make a profit,” we responded.
“You’ll have to talk to them about that,” He answered. “I believe your statement is not factually correct.”
Actually we did check with the parent company, and the statement is correct.
“We send out those tax amounts to our owners so that they can pay our share of the taxes,” Schein says.
“But you’re sendingup a miniscule amount compared to what you’re collecting. If your figures are correct, your sending $14-million compared to $800-million you’ve got in the account,” we answered.
“That’s right,” he said, “that will be used to lower customer bills in the future.”
The Public Utility Commission could cut that back, as they did for Centerpoint , which is the Oncor equivalent for Reliant Energy down in Houston.
But they haven’t, and two bills in the Texas House and Senate, filed by Republicans from Houston and College Station, would strip them of even that power.