Dear Midwest Energy member,
The Kansas state government faces some big challenges in balancing its books for the next couple of years. The Kansas Legislature is holding hearings on a number of bills that will provide options to fund schools, state government, and state services. Among the proposals under consideration is Senate Bill 261, which would apply the state's 6.15 percent sales tax to residential energy bills.
Currently, the state of Kansas does not levy sales tax on natural gas and electricity for residential use. Agriculture use is also exempt -- as is the sale of propane when used for heat and light in residences.
From a government standpoint, it is easy to collect revenue as a part of the utility bill. But it is not so easy to pay that bill in an area where so many customers are dealing with lower commodity prices and oil prices. As a customer-owned cooperative, Midwest Energy serves all, regardless of income. We’re reminded of the daily struggles many of our members have in paying their bills, and work hard to control costs and keep your rates affordable. A 6.15% sales tax increase would be a jolt to our members, with the average Midwest Energy residential customer taking both electric and gas service paying an extra $122 a year.
Remember, this sales tax would not be a rate increase by your cooperative, nor would you receive additional or improved services because of it. Your bill would increase by 6.15 percent simply because of the new tax, which we would be required to collect for the state of Kansas.
Midwest Energy believes that electricity and natural gas are a health and quality of life necessity. This new tax on utility bills would unfairly burden many of our members, as well as all disadvantaged Kansans. We ask that you consider contacting your legislators, and express your opinions on Senate Bill 261.
President & General Manager, Midwest Energy, Inc.