State Utility Wants to Trim Rates, Trees with Tax Break

NorthWestern Energy filed the plan Friday with Public Service Commission

By Tristan Scott

BILLINGS — Montana’s largest utility says it wants to spend the $14 million it is expected to save from President Donald Trump’s tax cuts on rate reductions worth $1.85 per month to the average customer, along with tree trimming projects to protect power lines.

The Billings Gazette reports NorthWestern Energy filed the plan Friday, and the state Public Service Commission will decide later this spring whether to approve the proposal.

The tax savings stem from the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December. Federal corporate tax rates fell from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Regulated utilities like NorthWestern cannot pocket the savings, which must be shared with ratepayers, who also pay the utilities’ taxes. NorthWestern has about 345,000 customers in Montana.

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