Letter: Shoreview tax on Xcel Energy bill

To the editor:

As of October 2013, the city of Shoreview is applying a 2.5% tax on your Xcel Energy Bill.
Residents were not given the opportunity to vote for or against this tax.

On our bill for October, which spans September and October, the tax applies for the days in October not the days in September. Come the November bill, the tax will be applied for a full month (part of October and part of November). On our bill the tax is shown as “City Fees.”  This is a permanent tax that the City Council can change at any time they see fit to do so, limited by the State of Minnesota to 5%.

This is a regressive tax that given current utility bills will average about $45 per year per household. This tax will yield about $850,000 per year for the city of Shoreview. This tax has no sensitivity to a household’s ability to pay such taxes. As these bills continue to increase, which is pretty much a non discretionary household expense, the taxes collected by Xcel on behalf of the City of Shoreview will go up accordingly.

This tax has nothing to do with Xcel Energy other than they are the agent to collect the tax for the City of Shoreview. Xcel Energy receives no part of the tax collected nor is the City of Shoreview planning on using any of the collected tax for anything associated with Xcel Energy.

I think this tax is outrageous.

Jim McBreen

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