By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
Nearly half of Oregon residents will see a huge jump in the cost of their utilities next year after the three-member Public Utility Commission approved Portland General Electric’s request to increase rates by 17 percent, according to KATU News. The utility serves 44 percent of Oregonians.
This comes after the other major utility, Pacific Power, saw a 14% rate increase at the beginning of the year.
Opponents say the recent PGE increase will wreak havoc with low-income families grappling to pay their bills. Consumer advocates say PGE is shifting $34 million in additional costs onto consumers rather than cutting expenses. While residential customers will pay an estimated 17.2 percent more, the increase for commercial customers is expected to be 15.9 percent and industrial consumers will pay 11 percent more. PGE points to system upgrades as the reason for the price increase.
As this happens, remember that state and local politicians have increased gas taxes, minimum wage rates, income taxes, property taxes, cell phone taxes, alcohol licensing taxes and hidden sales taxes (CAT tax) while passing regulations making electricity more expensive. The State of Oregon has also steered nearly $200 million of various tax dollars to subsidize expensive electric vehicles which by the tens of thousands are putting demands on the electrical grid making electricity more rare and more expensive.
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