4905.10 Assessment for expenses.

(A) For the sole purpose of maintaining and administering the public utilities commission and exercising its supervision and jurisdiction over the railroads and public utilities of this state, an amount equivalent to the appropriation from the public utilities fund created under division (B) of this section to the public utilities commission for railroad and public utilities regulation in each fiscal year shall be apportioned among and assessed against each railroad and public utility within this state by the commission by first computing an assessment as though it were to be made in proportion to the intrastate gross earnings or receipts, excluding earnings or receipts from sales to other public utilities for resale, of the railroad or public utility for the calendar year next preceding that in which the assessment is made. The commission may include in that first computation any amount of a railroad's or public utility's intrastate gross earnings or receipts that were underreported in a prior year. In addition to whatever penalties apply under the Revised Code to such underreporting, the commission shall assess the railroad or public utility interest at the rate stated in division (A) of section 1343.01 of the Revised Code. The commission shall deposit any interest so collected into the public utilities fund. The commission may exclude from that first computation any such amounts that were overreported in a prior year. The final computation of the assessment shall consist of imposing upon each railroad and public utility whose assessment under the first computation would have been one hundred dollars or less an assessment of one hundred dollars and recomputing the assessments of the remaining railroads and public utilities by apportioning an amount equal to the appropriation to the public utilities commission for administration of the utilities division in each fiscal year less the total amount to be recovered from those paying the minimum assessment, in proportion to the intrastate gross earnings or receipts of the remaining railroads and public utilities for the calendar year next preceding that in which the assessments are made. In the case of an assessment based on intrastate gross receipts under this section against a public utility that is an electric utility as defined in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code, or an electric services company, electric cooperative, or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4928.08 of the Revised Code, such receipts shall be those specified in the utility's, company's, cooperative's, or aggregator's most recent report of intrastate gross receipts and sales of kilowatt hours of electricity, filed with the commission pursuant to division (F) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code, and verified by the commission. In the case of an assessment based on intrastate gross receipts under this section against a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, such receipts shall be those specified in the supplier's or aggregator's most recent report of intrastate gross receipts and sales of hundred cubic feet of natural gas, filed with the commission pursuant to division (B) of section 4929.23 of the Revised Code, and verified by the commission. However, no such retail natural gas supplier or such governmental aggregator serving or proposing to serve customers of a particular natural gas company, as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, shall be assessed under this section until after the commission, pursuant to section 4905.26 or 4909.18 of the Revised Code, has removed from the base rates of the natural gas company the amount of assessment under this section that is attributable to the value of commodity sales service, as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, in the base rates paid by those customers of the company that do not purchase that service from the natural gas company.

(B) Through calendar year 2005, on or before the first day of October in each year, the commission shall notify each such railroad and public utility of the sum assessed against it, whereupon payment shall be made to the commission, which shall deposit it into the state treasury to the credit of the public utilities fund, which is hereby created. Beginning in calendar year 2006, on or before the fifteenth day of May in each year, the commission shall notify each railroad and public utility that had a sum assessed against it for the current fiscal year of more than one thousand dollars that fifty per cent of that amount shall be paid to the commission by the twentieth day of June of that year as an initial payment of the assessment against the company for the next fiscal year. On or before the first day of October in each year, the commission shall make a final determination of the sum of the assessment against each railroad and public utility and shall notify each railroad and public utility of the sum assessed against it. The commission shall deduct from the assessment for each railroad or public utility any initial payment received. Payment of the assessment shall be made to the commission by the first day of November of that year. The commission shall deposit the payments received into the state treasury to the credit of the public utilities fund. Any such amounts paid into the fund but not expended by the commission shall be credited ratably, after first deducting any deficits accumulated from prior years, by the commission to railroads and public utilities that pay more than the minimum assessment, according to the respective portions of such sum assessable against them for the ensuing fiscal year. The assessments for such fiscal year shall be reduced correspondingly.

(C) Within five days after the beginning of each fiscal year through fiscal year 2006, the director of budget and management shall transfer from the general revenue fund to the public utilities fund an amount sufficient for maintaining and administering the public utilities commission and exercising its supervision and jurisdiction over the railroads and public utilities of the state during the first four months of the fiscal year. The director shall transfer the same amount back to the general revenue fund from the public utilities fund at such time as the director determines that the balance of the public utilities fund is sufficient to support the appropriations from the fund for the fiscal year. The director may transfer less than that amount if the director determines that the revenues of the public utilities fund during the fiscal year will be insufficient to support the appropriations from the fund for the fiscal year, in which case the amount not paid back to the general revenue fund shall be payable to the general revenue fund in future fiscal years.

(D) For the purpose of this section only, "public utility" includes:

(1) In addition to an electric utility as defined in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code, an electric services company, an electric cooperative, or a governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4928.08 of the Revised Code, to the extent of the company's, cooperative's, or aggregator's engagement in the business of supplying or arranging for the supply in this state of any retail electric service for which it must be so certified;

(2) In addition to a natural gas company as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, to the extent of the supplier's or aggregator's engagement in the business of supplying or arranging for the supply in this state of any competitive retail natural gas service for which it must be certified.

(E) Each public utilities commissioner shall receive a salary fixed at the level set by pay range 49 under schedule E-2 of section 124.152 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4905.10

History. Effective Date: 06-26-2001; 06-30-2005

Note: The amendment to this section by 129th General AssemblyFile No.10, SB 5, §1 was rejected by voters in the November, 2011 election.