Substitute House Bill No. 6741

Public Act No. 99-105

An Act Concerning Assessments of Public Utilities.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 16-41 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Each (1) public service company [,] and its officers, agents and employees, [each] (2) electric supplier [, as defined in section 16-1,] or person providing electric generation services without a license in violation of section 16-245, and its officers, agents and employees, [and each] (3) person, public agency or public utility as such terms are defined in section 16-345, subject to the requirements of chapter 293, and (4) company, as defined in section 16-49, shall obey, observe and comply with all applicable provisions of this title and each applicable order made or applicable regulations adopted by the Department of Public Utility Control by virtue of this title so long as the same remains in force. Any such company, electric supplier, person, any officer, agent or employee thereof, or any such [person,] public agency or public utility which the department finds has failed to obey or comply with any such provision of this title, order or regulation shall be fined by order of the department in accordance with the penalty prescribed for the violated provision of this title or, if no penalty is prescribed, not more than five thousand dollars for each offense except that the penalty shall be a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars for failure to comply with an order of the department made in accordance with the provisions of section 16-19 within thirty days of such order or within any specific time period for compliance specified in such order. Each distinct violation of any such provision of this title, order or regulation shall be a separate offense and, in case of a continued violation, each day thereof shall be deemed a separate offense. Each such penalty and any interest charged pursuant to subsection (g) or (h) of section 16-49 shall be excluded from operating expenses for purposes of rate-making.

Sec. 2. Section 16-49 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) As used in this section: [, "company" means: (1) A company included within the term "public service company" by section 16-1, except any company not providing service at retail directly to consumers in the state and any company that had less than one hundred thousand dollars of gross revenues taxable under chapter 211 or chapters 212 and 212a, or in the case of any telephone company, as defined in said section 16-1, had less than one hundred thousand dollars of gross revenues from telecommunications services, as defined in subdivision (26) of section 12-407, included in the amount of gross revenues reportable under chapter 219, in the calendar year preceding the assessment year under this section; (2) any person, firm or corporation certified by the Department of Public Utility Control to provide intrastate telecommunications services, pursuant to sections 16-247f to 16-247h, inclusive, and applicable regulations, that had more than one hundred thousand dollars of gross revenues taxable under chapter 211, or which had more than one hundred thousand dollars of gross revenues reportable under chapter 219, or both, in the calendar year preceding the assessment year under this section, except any such person, firm or corporation not providing service at retail directly to consumers in the state; and (3)]

(1) "Company" means (A) any public service company other than a telephone company, that had more than one hundred thousand dollars of gross revenues in the state in the calendar year preceding the assessment year under this section, except any such company not providing service to retail customers in the state, (B) any telephone company that had more than one hundred thousand dollars of gross revenues in the state from telecommunications services in the calendar year preceding the assessment year under this section, except any such company not providing service to retail customers in the state, (C) any certified telecommunications provider that had more than one hundred thousand dollars of gross revenues in the state from telecommunications services in the calendar year preceding the assessment year under this section, except any such certified telecommunications provider not providing service to retail customers in the state, or (D) any electric supplier [, as defined in said section 16-1,] that had more than one hundred thousand dollars of gross revenues in the state in the calendar year preceding the assessment year under this section, except any such supplier not providing electric generation services to retail customers in the state;

(2) "Telecommunications services" means (A) in the case of telecommunications services provided by a telephone company, any service provided pursuant to a tariff approved by the department other than wholesale services and resold access and interconnections services, and (B) in the case of telecommunications services provided by a certified telecommunications provider other than a telephone company, any service provided pursuant to a tariff approved by the department and pursuant to a certificate of public convenience and necessity; and

(3) "Fiscal year" means the period beginning July first and ending June thirtieth.

(b) [With respect to] On or before July 15, 1999, and on or before May first, annually thereafter, each company shall report its intrastate gross revenues of the preceding calendar year to the department, which amount shall be subject to audit by the department. For each fiscal year, [ending after July 1, 1990,] each company shall pay the Department of Public Utility Control [its] the company's share of all expenses of the department and the Office of Consumer Counsel for such fiscal year. [as provided in this subsection.] On or before September first, [of each fiscal year] annually, the department shall give to each company a statement which shall include: (1) The amount appropriated to the department and the Office of Consumer Counsel for the fiscal year beginning July first of the same year; [, the cost of fringe benefits for department and Office of Consumer Counsel personnel for the fiscal year, as estimated by the Department of Administrative Services, and the amount of expenses for central state services attributable to the department and the Office of Consumer Counsel for the fiscal year, as estimated by the Comptroller;] (2) the total gross revenues of all [public service companies, except (A) telephone companies, as defined in section 16-1, which are taxable under chapter 211 or chapters 212 and 212a, (B) the total gross revenues of all telephone companies derived from the sale of telecommunications services, as defined in subdivision (26) of section 12-407, which are reportable under chapter 219, and (C) the total gross revenues of all persons, firms or corporations certified by the Department of Public Utility Control to provide intrastate telecommunications services, pursuant to sections 16-247f to 16-247h, inclusive, and subject to the provisions of this section, subsection (k) of section 16-2, sections 16-2a, 16-4 and 16-18, subsection (d) of section 16-47, and sections 16-50i, 16-256b, 16-256f and 16-259a derived from the sale of telecommunications services, as defined in said subdivision (26) of section 12-407, which are intrastate telecommunications services which are reportable under chapter 219;] companies; and (3) the proposed assessment against the company for the fiscal year beginning on July first of the same year, adjusted to reflect the estimated payment required [by] under subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section. Such proposed assessment shall be calculated by multiplying the company's percentage share of the total gross revenues as specified in subdivision (2) of this subsection by the total [amount compiled under] revenue appropriated to the department and the Office of Consumer Counsel as specified in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(c) Each company shall pay the department: (1) On or before [June 30, 1990, and on or before] June thirtieth, annually, [thereafter,] an estimated payment for the expenses of the following year equal to twenty-five per cent of its assessment for the fiscal year ending on such June thirtieth, (2) on or before September thirtieth, annually, twenty-five per cent of its proposed assessment, adjusted to reflect any credit or amount due under the recalculated assessment for the preceding fiscal year, as determined by the department under subsection (d) of this section, provided if the company files an objection [to a proposed or recalculated assessment under] in accordance with subsection (e) of this section, it may withhold the amount stated in its objection, and (3) on or before the following December thirty-first and March thirty-first, annually, [the company shall pay] the remaining fifty per cent of its proposed assessment [to the department] in two equal instalments.

(d) Immediately following the close of each fiscal year, the department shall recalculate the proposed assessment [for] of each company, based on the expenses, as determined by the Comptroller, of the department and the Office of Consumer Counsel for such fiscal year. On or before September first, annually, the department shall give to each company a statement showing the difference between its recalculated assessment and the amount previously paid by the company.

(e) Any company may object to a proposed or recalculated assessment by filing with the department, not later than September fifteenth of the year of [the] said assessment, a petition stating the amount of the proposed or recalculated assessment to which it objects and the grounds upon which it claims such assessment is excessive, erroneous, unlawful or invalid. [Upon the request of the company filing the] After a company has filed a petition, the department shall hold a hearing. After reviewing the company's petition and testimony, if any, the department shall issue [its] an order in accordance with its findings. The company shall pay the department the amount indicated in the order not later than thirty days after the date of the order.

(f) The department shall remit all payments received under this section to the State Treasurer for deposit in the Consumer Counsel and Public Utility Control Fund established under section 16-48a. Such funds shall be accounted for as expenses recovered from public service companies and certified telecommunications providers. All payments made under this section shall be in addition to any taxes payable to the state under chapters 211, 212, 212a and 219.

(g) Any assessment unpaid on the due date or any portion of an assessment withheld after the due date under subsection (c) of this section shall be subject to interest at the rate of one and one-fourth per cent per month or fraction thereof, or fifty dollars, whichever is greater.

[(h) Nothing in this section shall affect any administrative or judicial proceeding pending on July 1, 1985.]

(h) Any company that fails to report in accordance with this section shall be subject to civil penalties in accordance with section 16-41.

Sec. 3. The Department of Public Utility Control shall develop a new method of assessing the various industries that are subject to regulation by the department in lieu of the method set forth in section 16-49 of the general statutes. The method shall ensure that assessments are proportional to the amount of resources the department expends carrying out the provisions of title 16 of the general statutes for each such industry. Not later than January 1, 2000, the department shall report its recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy.

Sec. 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 1999.

Approved June 3, 1999

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