Professor sees flaw in argument that energy bill is a "tax increase"
Photo by Karen Kasler
"A Columbus law firm argues that the new energy law charging electric customers up to $2.35 a month for nuclear, coal, and solar subsidies is a tax increase.
'Here, the charges levied under HB6 are imposed by the legislature, upon a broad class of parties, and for a public purpose,' writes John Zeiger, attorney with Zeiger, Tigges, and Little.
The memo was sent to the Ohio Secretary of State's office in hopes of thwarting an attempt to put a referendum of the energy bill on the 2020 ballot. Under the Ohio Constitution, voters cannot reject a tax increase through a referendum.
Ned Hill, an energy economics professor for Ohio State University, does not agree with that line of thinking. He says, if that were the case, then the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has approved several tax increases over the years.
'All the other non-bypassable riders that have been larded onto your electricity bills over the past six years are also taxes and maybe legally questionable,' says Hill."
- Andy Chow, Statehouse News Bureau