New York American Water Responds to Report on Tax Assessment Issue

Merrick, NY (May 7, 2018)—New York American Water received the report issued to the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) by the Staff of the Department of Public Service on April 30, 2018, regarding the company’s property value assessments. According to the report, the company overpaid Nassau County and other local taxes by approximately $2.3 million over a four-year period as a result of an over-assessment error, and customers were overcharged approximately $281,526 toward those taxes.

“As the company indicated when we brought this issue to the attention of the PSC in early December, New York American Water remains unconditionally committed to protecting our customers from any impact of this tax over-assessment. As the calculations are complicated, the company is grateful to the PSC Staff for the many weeks of work devoted to the recommendations reflected in the report. We reviewed the report, agree with Staff's recommendation that $281,526 should be credited to customers, and are prepared to credit customers upon the approval of the PSC,” said Carmen Tierno, President, New York American Water.

In early December, New York American Water notified the PSC that a number of its utility properties were over-assessed due to an asset inventory filing that required correction by the company. The company immediately took actions to protect its customers from additional financial impact. To rectify this issue, New York American Water terminated the RAC/PTR Surcharge of $26.95 per month on customer bills and reduced the Incremental Property Tax Surcharge (IPTS) on customer bills by $10.75 per month, effective January 1, 2018. Together, this represents an annual reduction of $398.48 for the average residential customer using 8,000 gallons a month.

“Even after revising the company’s property tax assessments, property tax expenses still represent more than 50 percent of customer water charges in this operating area – which is much more than any other area we serve,” said Tierno. “To this end, we will continue to pursue additional tax relief measures for our customers by working with state and local legislators and other leaders.”