Get your Utility Tax Rebate – applications due by June 30!

5 Jun

I was looking over an old city budget – looking for something else – when I  came across these figures for the 2014 – 2017 UUT – Utility User’s Tax.  It didn’t cut and paste so good, but if you look, you’ll see the totals for the last few years UUT receipts – and REFUNDS!

Here’s the link:

from http://www.chico.ca.us/finance/documents/2016-17CityAnnualFINALBudget.pdfff

I found these figures on page 35.

The good news is, more people are applying for UUT refunds every year.  The first two figures on line 40460 are dollar amounts for total refunds for the years 2014/15, and 2015/16, and the last four figures are projected refund totals for 2016/17. I assume projections are based on the number of people who have applied in past and how much bills have gone up. I can’t believe the increased amounts are only due to increases in bills, I believe more people are applying for the refund. 

40460 UUT Refunds (2,870) (5,642) (7,000) (7,000) (6,000) (6,000)

Now, here’s an interesting line – they are still reporting the figure for the illegally taken cell phone tax refunds – remember Measure J? It looks like they gave back $831 in refunds to pissed off cell phone customers in the months after the election (2012). They actually put a deadline on it – a deadline on claiming stolen money, what nerve these people have. Those 0’s are the totals for the years after.

40461 UUT Cell Phone Refunds (831) 0 0 0 0 0

Okay, here’s where I got really mad – look at these totals for their takings for  the years 2014/15 and 2015/16. And get a load of the projections listed for 2016-17! This money was added to your utility bills.

40490 Utility User Tax – Gas 885,726 871,084 930,566 930,566 1,040,000 1,040,000

40491 Utility User Tax – Electric 3,853,624 4,013,124 4,048,714 4,048,714 4,300,000 4,300,000

40492 Utility User Tax – Telecom 756,121 470,180 435,000 435,000 415,000 415,000

40493 Utility User Tax – Water 813,254 854,156 854,425 854,425 925,000 925,000

I’ll say, I don’t get “telecom” – land lines? I guess a lot of businesses still have land lines, which are taxable. 

And, as you can see on line 40493, the drought was very, very good for the city of Chico.

And here’s the total takings and projected totals for 2016/17. 

Total Utility Users Tax 6,305,024 6,202,902 6,261,705 6,261,705 6,674,000 6,674,000

Over $6 million, and more every year. I’ll guess the total for 2017/18 will be over $7 million. 

So what can we do about it? Short of hiring a lawyer and running a measure to repeal the tax altogether, we can continue to apply for our UUT rebate. The form is available here:

http://www.chico.ca.us/_includes/documents/UUT%20REFUND%20APPLICATION%20FY17-18%20FILLABLE.pdf

And get a load of that – FILLABLE!  You type in the figure from each month’s bill and it adds up the total at the bottom. 

My husband and I haven’t been home much the last year, our bills have dropped considerably, but we still claimed about $99. 

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