Florida Chamber of Commerce Financial Impact Study Shows Proposed Energy Ballot Measure Will Cost $1.2 Billion Annually

By: Edie Ousley

“Although the Florida Chamber has already conducted its analysis, we urge the FIEC to provide the financial transparency of the new law stemming from House Bill 5 to provide voters more comprehensive transparency on this mandate that will drastically increase electricity costs.” – Mark Wilson, President and CEO

TALLAHASSEE, FL (August 12, 2019) – In advance of today’s state Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC) to determine portions of the economic impact of a ballot initiative to restructure Florida’s electricity market, the Florida Chamber of Commerce today pointed to independent financial impact research showing that the proposed amendment will cost $1.2 to $1.5 billion annually to state and local governments.

“Voters deserve to know the facts – this price hiking electricity related ballot measure is a drastic and costly proposal that will drive up costs on Florida’s families, consumers and local businesses,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Studies by Charles River Associates shows that the proposed restructuring of Florida’s electricity market would have an adverse financial impact, in terms of lower tax revenues and increased costs, of $1.2 to $1.5 billion or more per year to Florida’s state and local governments, and ultimately, to taxpayers. That means less funding for vital local services, including fire departments and first responders, and likely higher taxes for consumers and local businesses.

Chief among revenue losses are:

  • Franchise Fees – $650 million
  • Gross Receipt Tax — $270 million to $320 million
  • Municipal Public Service Tax — $200 million to $300 million
  • Property Tax — $60 million to $140 million

Topping the list of higher costs are:

  • Administrative Costs — $30 million to $80 million
  • RTO or ISO – impact of higher rates — $20 million to $25 million

“We cannot secure Florida’s future with regulatory policies that will make our state less competitive and electricity more expensive,” Wilson added.

When the FIEC originally met on the energy regulation proposal in March, they did not determine the financial impact that drastically changing Florida’s electricity market would have on Florida’s communities – despite the empirical evidence presented by expert economists.

At the urging of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, lawmakers passed and Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law HB 5 requiring a financial impact estimate on both the state and local communities.

“Although the Florida Chamber has already conducted its analysis, we urge the FIEC to provide the financial transparency of the new law stemming from House Bill 5 to provide voters more comprehensive transparency on this mandate that will drastically increase electricity costs,” said Wilson.

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.