While it might think the April Fool’s date is appropriate forNew York to impose a new energy tax, the National Energy MarketersAssociation (NEM) still opposes the plan. “On April 1, 2000, NewYork will impose a new tax on natural gas and electricitytransportation. This new tax will severely limit furtherdevelopment of energy competition,” said NEM President CraigGoodman.

Goodman said the 4% tax would apply to the transportationcomponent of everybody’s gas and electricity usage — abouttwo-thirds of most bills. It is intended to replace the state’sgross receipts tax (GRT), which is to be phased out (10% in thefirst year) in New York’s new but not-yet-approved budget. Instead,the new tax would be in effect while the GRT — currently 3.25% ofgas and electric utility bills, not those from marketers — isstill being collected.

“Imposing taxes on natural gas and electricity competitionbefore the retail energy markets are fully developed in the stateof New York is not consistent with Governor Pataki’s competitiveenergy policy and commitment to reducing taxes throughout thestate, If New York is compelled to tax energy transportation; itshould do so after competitive retail energy markets havedeveloped.

“New York was starting to make real progress toward opening itsenergy markets for competition. To impose a new energy tax beforeNY’s retail energy choice programs are implemented on a wide-spreadbasis, will effectively undermine the very efforts that theGovernor and many other state officials have been working hard toput in place”, he added.

NEM is trying to elevate awareness of the issue and is lobbying”officials up and down the chain of command in state government.We’ve been working on this for two years now, and we’re not gettingenough movement, so we’ve decided to issue this press release andgo a lot more public with it.”

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