Kris Kobach wants the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to lower utility rates in response to federal tax reform. The 2018 gubernatorial candidate said in a campaign press release that public utilities are going to experience a windfall thanks to corporate tax cuts signed by President Donald Trump just before Christmas.
“As these utilities essentially operate as monopolies, the tax cuts should be passed along to Kansans in the form of lower utility rates,” Kobach said. “When utility companies receive a windfall they owe a duty to the public to return that revenue by lowering rates. I hope the Kansas Corporation Commission and utility companies act quickly to make this adjustment.”
The KCC is a three-person, appointed committee tasked with regulating rates for public utilities like electricity and natural gas. In 2016, for example, the commission granted a $1.25 per month rate increase for Kansas Gas Service customers. The company had requested a $4.54 per month increase for residential customers. The KCC hosted a hearing and received 591 public comments before settling on a $1.25 rate hike.
According to WIBW 13 News, the KCC is currently pursuing rate reductions in response to corporate tax cuts. A few weeks ago, the KCC filed a motion to consider decreasing utility rates.
Kobach said utility rate increases have become as certain as death and taxes in Kansas.
“Regardless of which party controls the Governor’s office utility rates have increased. This impacts every Kansan, especially those struggling to make ends meet,” he said.
Kobach is currently the Kansas Secretary of State. He launched his gubernatorial campaign in June. He is one of more than a dozen candidates for Kansas’ top executive, and he is widely considered the front-runner in the Kansas Republican primary race.