Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 58.1. Taxation
Chapter 29. Electric Utility Consumption Tax
11/24/2020

Chapter 29. Electric Utility Consumption Tax.

§ 58.1-2900. Imposition of tax.

A. Effective January 1, 2001, there is hereby imposed, in addition to the local consumer utility tax of Article 4 (§ 58.1-3812 et seq.) of Chapter 38 and subject to the adjustments authorized by subdivision A 5 and by § 58.1-2902, a tax on the consumers of electricity in the Commonwealth based on kilowatt hours delivered by the incumbent distribution utility and used per month as follows:

1. Each consumer of electricity in the Commonwealth shall pay electric utility consumption tax on all electricity consumed per month not in excess of 2,500 kWh at the rate of $0.001595 per kWh, as follows:

aState consumptionSpecial regulatoryLocal consumption
btax ratetax ratetax rate
c$0.00102/kWh$0.000195/kWh$0.00038/kWh

2. Each consumer of electricity in the Commonwealth shall pay electric utility consumption tax on all electricity consumed per month in excess of 2,500 kWh but not in excess of 50,000 kWh at the rate of $0.00102 per kWh, as follows:

aState consumptionSpecial regulatoryLocal consumption
btax ratetax ratetax rate
c$0.00065/kWh$0.00013/kWh$0.00024/kWh
aState consumptionSpecial regulatoryLocal consumption
btax ratetax ratetax rate
c$0.00050/kWh$0.000091/kWh$0.00018/kWh

3. Each consumer of electricity in the Commonwealth shall pay electric utility consumption tax on all electricity consumed per month in excess of 50,000 kWh at the rate of $0.000771 per kWh, as follows:

4. The tax rates set forth in subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 are in lieu of and replace the state gross receipts tax (§ 58.1-2626), the special regulatory revenue tax (§ 58.1-2660), and the local license tax (§ 58.1-3731) levied on corporations furnishing heat, light or power by means of electricity.

5. The tax on consumers under this section shall not be imposed on consumers served by an electric utility owned or operated by a municipality if such municipal electric utility elects to have an amount equivalent to the tax added on the bill such utility (or an association or agency of which it is a member) pays for bundled or unbundled transmission service as a separate item. Such amount, equivalent to the tax, shall be calculated under the tax rate schedule as if the municipal electric utility were selling and collecting the tax from its consumers, adjusted to exclude the amount which represents the local consumption tax if the locality in which a consumer is located does not impose a license fee rate pursuant to § 58.1-3731, and shall be remitted to the Commission pursuant to § 58.1-2901. Municipal electric utilities may bundle the tax in the rates charged to their retail customers. Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, the election permitted under this subdivision shall not be exercised by any municipal electric utility if the entity to whom the municipal electric utility (or an association or agency of which it is a member) pays for transmission service is not subject to the taxing jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, unless such entity agrees to remit to the Commonwealth all amounts equivalent to the tax pursuant to § 58.1-2901.

6. The tax on consumers set forth in subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 shall only be imposed in accordance with this subdivision on consumers of electricity purchased from a utility consumer services cooperative to the extent that such cooperative purchases, for the purpose of resale within the Commonwealth, electricity from a federal entity that made payments in accordance with federal law (i) in lieu of taxes during such taxable period to the Commonwealth and (ii) on the basis of such federal entity's gross proceeds resulting from the sale of such electricity. Such tax shall instead be calculated by deducting from each of the respective tax amounts calculated in accordance with subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 an amount equal to the calculated tax amount multiplied by the ratio of the total cost of power supplied by the federal entity, including facilities rental, during the taxable period to the utility consumer services cooperative's total operating revenue within the Commonwealth during the taxable period. The State Corporation Commission may audit the records and books of any utility consumer services cooperative that determines the tax on consumers in accordance with this subdivision to verify that the tax imposed has been correctly determined and properly remitted.

B. The tax authorized by this chapter shall not apply to municipalities' own use or to use by divisions or agencies of federal, state and local governments.

C. For purposes of this section, "kilowatt hours delivered" means in the case of eligible customer-generators, as defined in § 56-594, those kilowatt hours supplied from the electric grid to such customer-generators, minus the kilowatt hours generated and fed back to the electric grid by such customer-generators.

1999, c. 971; 2000, cc. 427, 614; 2020, c. 697.

§ 58.1-2901. Collection and remittance of tax.

A. The provider of billing services shall collect the tax from the consumer by adding it as a separate charge to the consumer's monthly statement. Until the consumer pays the tax to such provider of billing services, the tax shall constitute a debt of the consumer to the Commonwealth, localities, and the State Corporation Commission. If any consumer receives and pays for electricity but refuses to pay the tax on the bill that is imposed by § 58.1-2900, the provider of billing services shall notify the State Corporation Commission of the name and address of such consumer. If any consumer fails to pay a bill issued by a provider of billing services including the tax that is imposed by § 58.1-2900, the provider of billing services shall follow its normal collection procedures with respect to the charge for electric service and the tax, and upon collection of the bill or any part thereof shall (i) apportion the net amount collected between the charge for electric service and the tax and (ii) remit the tax portion to the State Corporation Commission and the appropriate locality. After the consumer pays the tax to the provider of billing services, the taxes collected shall be deemed to be held in trust by such provider until remitted to the State Corporation Commission and the appropriate locality.

When determining the amount of tax to collect from consumers of an electric utility that is a cooperative which purchases, for the purpose of resale within the Commonwealth, electricity from a federal entity that made payments during such taxable period to the Commonwealth in lieu of taxes in accordance with a federal law requiring such payments to be calculated on the basis of such federal entity's gross proceeds from the sale of electricity, the provider of billing services shall deduct from each of the respective tax amounts calculated in accordance with § 58.1-2900 an amount equal to the calculated tax amounts multiplied by the ratio that the total cost of the power, including facilities rental, supplied by said federal entity to said cooperative for resale within the Commonwealth bears to said cooperative's total operating revenue within the Commonwealth for the taxable period. The State Corporation Commission may audit the records and books of said cooperative to verify that the tax imposed by this chapter has been correctly determined and properly remitted.

B. A provider of billing services shall remit monthly to the Commission the amount of tax paid during the preceding month by the provider of billing services' consumers, except for (i) amounts added on the bills to utilities owned and operated by municipalities which are collected by the entity providing transmission directly to such utilities (or an association or agency of which the municipality is a member), which they shall remit directly to the Commission and (ii) the portion which represents the local consumption tax, which portion shall be remitted to the locality in which the electricity was consumed and shall be based on such locality's license fee rate which it imposed. Amounts of the tax that are added on the bills to utilities owned and operated by municipalities, which are collected by the entity providing transmission directly to such utilities (or an association or agency of which the municipality is a member), shall be remitted monthly by such entity to the Commission, except that the portion which represents the local consumption tax shall be remitted to the locality in which the electricity was consumed and shall be based on such locality's license fee rate which it imposed.

C. The electric utility consumption tax shall be remitted monthly, on or before the last day of the succeeding month of collection. Those portions of the electric utility consumption tax that relate to the state consumption tax and the special regulatory tax shall be remitted to the Commission; the portion that relates to the local consumption tax shall be remitted to the localities. Failure to remit timely will result in a ten percent penalty.

D. Taxes on electricity sales in the year ending December 31, 2000, relating to the local license tax, shall be paid in accordance with § 58.1-3731. Monthly payments in accordance with subsection C shall commence on February 28, 2001.

E. For purposes of this section, "service provider" means the person who delivers electricity to the consumer and "provider of billing services" means the person who bills a consumer for electric services rendered. If both the service provider and another person separately and directly bill a consumer for electricity service, then the service provider shall be considered the "provider of billing services."

F. The portion of the electric utility consumption tax relating to the local consumption tax replaces and precludes localities from imposing a license tax in accordance with § 58.1-3731 and the business, professional, occupation and license tax in accordance with Chapter 37 (§ 58.1-3700 et seq.) on electric suppliers subsequent to December 31, 2000, except as provided in subsection D. If the license fee rate imposed by a locality is less than the equivalent of the local consumption tax rate component of the consumption tax paid under subsection A of § 58.1-2900, the excess collected by the Commission shall constitute additional state consumption tax revenue and shall be remitted by the Commission to the state treasury. However, effective January 1, 2003, any locality that failed to comply with the requirements of this subsection by December 31, 2000, regarding the local license tax, shall receive the revenues generated on or after January 1, 2003, by the local consumption tax component paid under subsection A by the citizens of such locality. Such locality shall be entitled to the maximum amount as if the locality had imposed the license tax, in accordance with the provisions of § 58.1-3731 at the maximum rate allowed, provided that the governing body of such locality adopts an ordinance electing to receive such amounts.

G. The Department of Taxation may audit the books and records of any electric utility owned and operated by a municipality (or an association or agency of which the municipality is a member) to verify that the tax imposed by this chapter has been correctly determined and properly remitted to the Commission.

H. The State Corporation Commission may audit the books and records of any service provider or provider of billing services, except as provided in subsection G, to verify that the tax imposed by this chapter has been correctly determined and properly remitted to the Commission.

1999, c. 971; 2000, cc. 427, 614; 2001, cc. 748, 829, 861; 2002, cc. 339, 502.

§ 58.1-2902. Electric utility consumption tax relating to the special regulatory tax; when not assessed or assessed only in part.

A. The Commission may in the performance of its function and duty in levying the electric utility consumption tax relating to the special regulatory tax, omit the levy on any portion of the tax fixed in § 58.1-2900 as is unnecessary within the Commission's sole discretion for the accomplishment of the objects for which the tax is imposed, including a reasonable margin in the nature of a reserve fund.

B. The Commission shall notify each provider of billing services, as defined in subsection E of § 58.1-2901, collecting the tax on consumers of electricity of any change in the electric utility consumption tax relating to the special regulatory tax not later than the first day of the second month preceding the month in which the revised rate is to take effect.

1999, c. 971; 2001, c. 748.

§ 58.1-2903. Use of electric utility consumption tax relating to special regulatory tax.

The electric utility consumption tax relating to the special regulatory tax paid into the treasury under this chapter shall be deposited into a special fund used only by the Commission for the purpose of making appraisals, assessments and collections against electric suppliers as defined in §§ 58.1-400.2 and 58.1-2600 and public service corporations furnishing heat, light and power by means of electricity and for the further purposes of the Commission in investigating and inspecting the properties or the service or services of such electric suppliers and public service corporations, and for the supervision and administration of all laws relative to such electric suppliers and public service corporations, whenever the same shall be deemed necessary by the Commission.

1999, c. 971.