SUEZ, the water company which services the mainland portion of Toms River, will lower its rates for residential customers, the company and U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur’s office said this week.
SUEZ, based in Paris, France, announced that it plans to reduce customers’ utility bills by 14 million dollars, lowering monthly bills by approximately 5 percent, according to a statement from the congressman’s office.
The rate reduction comes after the state Board of Public Utilities mandated utility companies provide relief for ratepayers following the reduction of the national corporate tax rate under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The law reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
For the Toms River system, rates will be reduced by 4.9 percent, pending the approval of the state agency. SUEZ officials said a resident using about 4,000 gallons of water a month could save between $22 and $24 per year.
“Reduced tax costs create and opportunity for our customers to benefit from further decreases in their total water service bills,” David Stanton, SUEZ’s President of Utility Operations said. “We are pleased to provide these savings to our customers, while making sure we are making smart investments in the local water infrastructure to maintain safe, reliable and affordable service.”
MacArthur, one of the largest proponents of the tax plan in the House of Representatives, credited the tax cut for spurring lower rates.
“This is yet another example of residents saving money, thanks to tax cuts,” said MacArthur, in a statement. “Working families are seeing lower tax rates, bigger paychecks, and lower utility bills, which directly lowers the cost of living. The facts are catching up to the naysayers and residents are continuing to see more money in their pockets because we cut taxes in Washington – perhaps Trenton should try it sometime.”
MacArthur said he wrote a letter recently to ask that the BPU require corporate savings be passed on to consumers.
The rates will only affect customers of SUEZ. Toms River’s barrier island communities are served by a different private water purveyor – New Jersey American Water. NJAW has yet to announce any rate changes. SUEZ provides only water service. Sewer service on both the mainland and island is provided by the Toms River Municipal Utilities Authority.