With the annual state budget having become unraveled only six months into the current fiscal year, there is renewed discussion in Sacramento regarding tax “reform”, which translates into nothing more than overall tax increases via sleight of hand politics and lobbyist graft. A number of the same geniuses who got California into this decade-long fiscal funk, including former Governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, are now members of a self-titled dope tank, “Think Long Committee for California.” Sure, “long” as in the number of taxes they plan to increase or add to the tune of $10 billion in additional tax revenue, most of which will come out the pockets of you and me! Good luck getting that ballot measure passed, Einsteins!
Enough of that beef from this writer. It’s bad enough having to ward off politicians, but how about utilities, too? Namely, SDG&E. Have you ever scrutinized your monthly billing statement and noted the quantity and ambiguity of the charges that are listed? Here’s a glance at mine:
DWR Bond Charge $4.23
Public Purpose Programs $33.23
Nuclear Decommissioning $ .33
Competition Transition Charge: $1.65
Reliability Services: $ .90
Franchise Fee on Electric Energy Supplied By Others $ .10
State Surcharge Tax $ .24
State Regulatory Fee $ .20
Mind you, that’s $40.88 in fees on just my electricity bill; my gas bill contains an additional $1.30. In summary, 22% of my statement is composed of these semi-anonymous charges. By the way, I have a few questions regarding some of these fees. For one, please tell me what area of the state is currently decommissioning a nuclear power plant? Define for me the “public purpose programs” for which I am so honored to help pay for? Will I receive a credit of the “Reliability Services” fee in light (pun intended) of the 24-hour power outage we had a couple of months ago? Who are the competitors for whom I am paying their transitioning costs to SDG&E? Why am I having to pay a fee on “electric energy supplied by others”? SDG&E can’t absorb that dime? Really?????
My water, sewer, and city services statement reflects the same nickel-and-dime charges as well as ever-increasing regular service rates. Maybe it’s time I started using candles for light and burning trash in my fireplace for heat. That’ll show’em…..until the EPA knocks on my door!