Public Service Commission (PSC) candidate Brent Woodall (R) was in Winston County Saturday night. There he campaigned for Republican voters and reiterated his assertion that surplus utility taxes should be sent back to the ratepayers rather than sent to the State General Fund (SGF) to be appropriated to other agencies as the state legislature deems fit.

“During the Ronald Reagan dinner in Double Springs this past Saturday night, I told those in attendance about the hidden tax scam my opponent supports at the Public Service Commission,” Woodall said. “That hidden tax scam is the mechanism by which the PSC causes the utilities it regulates to charge their customers more for their utility bills and then, after receiving the excess money from the utilities, the PSC sends it, not back to the customers of the utilities, but to the general fund where it is mixed in with legitimate tax revenues. There it is spent on projects from which the customers of the utilities may never benefit and in parts of Alabama they may never visit.

“I also told the people at the dinner that the only RINO we need in Montgomery is the one at the zoo.

“Following the dinner, my opponent, who had been present during my talk, asked me, ‘What tax are you talking about? We don’t tax nobody.'

“He was upset that I was the one who had to educate him about the hidden tax scam he has repeatedly supported with his votes. My opponent has been a member of the Public Service Commission for over nine years and it wasn’t until Saturday night that he gained an understanding about how his votes impact the citizens of Alabama. His ignorance is shocking and should not be tolerated by the voters of our state. His repeated votes in support of the hidden tax scam have taken tens of millions of dollars from the customers of those utilities. That is money that the hard-working citizens of our state could use to feed and clothe their children, put gasoline in their gas tanks, and set aside some money for their retirement. But they can’t use their money for those purposes because my opponent took it from them. They thought that they were paying their utility bill when they were actually paying a hidden tax my opponent imposed on them.

Woodall said Alabama can do better.

"As a conservative Republican, I will never vote to impose a hidden tax on Alabama's citizens," said Woodall. "I will never cast a vote without understanding the impact that vote will have on the people of our great state. But I can’t do it without you. I need your vote to put an end to this hidden tax scam. Vote Brent Woodall for Public Service Commission Place 1 on May 24th!”

The state utility tax goes to the Public Service Commission (PSC). The PSC uses its money to regulate the utilities. Any surplus utility funds then go to the SGF. Insurance taxes are similar. Alabamians pay a tax on their car, boat, life, homeowner’s, business, umbrella, etc. insurance coverages. That money goes to the Alabama Insurance Commission to pay for the cost of regulating the insurance industry in the state. Surplus insurance taxes as well as the fees charged to agents and insurance companies are then sent to the SGF. Insurance taxes historically have been one of the largest components of SGF funding.

The largest SGF budget in state history will be considered in the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee on Wednesday. It has already passed the Alabama Senate.

John Hammock, Stephen McLamb, Jeremy H. Oden, and Brent Woodall are all running for PSC Place 1.

The Republican primary is on May 24.

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