Tax Reform Sparks Indiana Electricity Price Drop

Published October 12, 2018

Energy prices in Indiana will be falling during the next year, a result of ripple effects from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved a proposal from Vectren Energy to begin lowering customer prices, giving the company the go-ahead to pass along its reduced costs of doing business.

Vectren customers’ bills will be reduced by up to $90 over 12 months, and users of natural gas will see up to $35 in savings at the same time.

TCJA, signed by President Donald Trump in 2017, permanently cut the corporate income tax from 35 percent to 21 percent and cut taxes by an estimated $1.5 trillion, among other reforms.

Widespread Ripple Effects

H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow on environmental policy for The Heartland Institute, which publishes Budget & Tax News, says more affordable energy is a less-visible but very real benefit of tax reform.

“It’s a little-recognized benefit of the tax reform act that was passed,” Burnett said. “People across the nation are benefiting from lower electric power prices, lower water prices, lower utility prices because of this act. Businesses pass along the savings from the taxes to the public. That should be recognized. It deserves mention.”

John Kartch, vice-president of communications for Americans for Tax Reform, says the Trump-GOP tax reform has had profound benefits for countless individuals, all across the country.

“There are over 130 million customers paying lower [utility] rates because of the tax cuts,” Kartch said. “That is a conservative estimate. The actual number is probably much higher, but we can document at least 130 million customers. A customer is anyone who gets a bill. It could be a house with one senior citizen; it could be a family of five; it could be a factory that employs 50. Think about that: the actual number of people helped is much greater.”

Media Ignoring Good News

Burnett says the story of tax reform’s continuing ripple effects has been minimized by biased journalists who dislike Trump.

“Every time you pay your bill, you need to thank the legislators that passed the tax cut, because it’s costing you less for power than it would have otherwise,” Burnett said. “The media hasn’t been overly effusive about the benefits of the tax cut. They’re not on Trump’s side. They’re not on the Republicans’ side.”

‘Nice Lesson on Taxes’

Kartch says the beneficial effect of tax reform on utility prices is a good object lesson.

“It is a nice lesson on taxes: If you are a household and you are saving $100 on your electricity bill, $50 on your water bill, $50 on your gas bill, in a year that really adds up,” Kartch said. “You can use that for several tanks of gas, groceries, or part of a weekend trip, or something that you needed for your family.

“When you look at it all together, the state of Indiana, it totals many millions of dollars,” Kartch said. “Just think of many millions of dollars entering productive use in the private economy, and not being sent to the government. That’s great.”