Scientific Integrity Institute


New Study Exposes $4.5 Billion in “Hidden State Taxes” on California Utility Bills – Climate Mandates Add Even More Costs

California politicians are trying to shift the blame for high electricity and gas rates to private utilities, but a new report from the Transparency Foundation reveals “hidden state taxes” and state climate change mandates are causing Californians to pay 67.1% more for electricity and 30.1% more for natural gas than national average

Californians are getting crushed by electric and gas utility rate hikes — with some residents seeing bills that DOUBLED or TRIPLED during the month of January 2023 alone. Experts warn that many residents may be unable to pay their utility bills. One frustrated resident summed up rising frustration by saying “the choice is to eat or to heat.”

But while California politicians are trying to shift the blame to utility company profits, an independent analysis of utility rates in California conducted by the non-partisan Transparency Foundation reveals that the state politicians are actually to blame.

“The public has a right to know that they are being forced to pay higher utility rates than they should be paying – and policymakers need to take immediate action to provide relief,” says Carl DeMaio, Chairman of the Transparency Foundation.

“We found over $4.5 billion in hidden state taxes added by Sacramento politicians to the electricity and gas rates imposed on California residents – and none of these taxes are disclosed on the bills sent to residents,” adds DeMaio.

The study provides a complete itemized list of these hidden taxes contained within the rate structure of each of the state’s largest utilities – charging Californians fees for a variety of dubious government programs ranging from a fund to cover unpaid utility bills to some residents, to give financial aid for “disadvantaged communities,” to provides free windows and appliances to others, etc.

The $4.5 billion in government program charges uncovered by the study amounts to a combined hidden state tax rate of over 10% on each utility bill each month!

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