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Columbia Gas Message from Superintendent Risden-Smith

Valued Staff,

 
In July, a community member informed me that their gas bill did not include the utility tax enacted in 2013. Since July, we’ve been working with the Department of Revenue and Columbia Gas to resolve this issue. Several others shared the same concerns since July. 
 
Columbia Gas has acknowledged the issue, admitted fault, and is taking measures to correct it. Part of this process has resulted in Columbia Gas issuing letters to many customers who were not paying the utility tax previously because it was not included in their bill. When they receive this tax, it is not an additional utility tax that the district has added. 
 
The obvious question is, 1) Will the district receive the reimbursements since 2013 that they should have been receiving, and 2) Will Columbia Gas or the customer be responsible for paying it? 
 
1) Since this is their error, the answer is clear in statute that we will ONLY be paid back for two years of the time period in which we should have received reimbursements and did not. I’ve received communication from the department of revenue stating that this will be received based on 2/2017 to 2/2019.  2) I have received communication from the department of revenue stating that Columbia Gas has decided not to bill their customers for what they are required to pay for the two years they did not collect the tax. 
 
We will not have an exact amount until late next week, but loose calculations show around $5,000 total in receipts that we will gain annually. 
 
Since this will likely be discussed in the community, I want you to have this information and the details. 

 

Jackie Risden-Smith 

Superintendent

 

Fairview Independent Schools 

 

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