2015 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 17. Corporation Commission
§17-180.11. Assessment upon public utilities.
A. The Corporation Commission is hereby authorized to assess a fee upon each public utility to provide adequate funding to the Public Utility Division of the Corporation Commission for the regulation of public utilities in this state and for providing for timely and expeditious reviews and completion of rate cases, and increased responsiveness to the needs of consumers and the regulated community.
B. 1. The assessment authorized by this section may, after excluding the amount allocated to interexchange telecommunications companies, resellers, pay phone service providers and operator service providers in paragraph 2 of this subsection, be borne by the affected public utilities as follows:
a.one-half (1/2) shall be allocated based on that proportion which the total regulated Oklahoma jurisdictional gross operating revenues of each public utility bear to the total regulated Oklahoma jurisdictional gross operating revenues of all public utilities, and
b.one-half (1/2) shall be allocated based on that proportion which the total number of regulated Oklahoma jurisdictional customers of each public utility bears to the total number of regulated Oklahoma jurisdictional customers of all public utilities.
2. For interexchange telecommunications companies, resellers, pay phone service providers and operator service providers, the allocation may be based on the total regulated Oklahoma jurisdictional gross operating revenues that each interexchange telecommunications company, reseller or operator service provider bears in proportion to the total regulated Oklahoma jurisdictional gross operating revenue of all public utilities as applied to the total amount of the assessment to be collected from all public utilities for each year.
C. Any assessment levied pursuant to this section shall be recoverable as an operating expense to the public utility and shall be included in a utility's base rates or basic monthly service charge. The Corporation Commission shall take such action necessary to ensure recovery of the assessment by a public utility during the period for which it is levied.
D. The Corporation Commission may provide that each public utility shall pay any assessment levied pursuant to this section on a quarterly basis. Notice of the annual assessment shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each public utility. Each public utility shall pay the amount assessed to the Commission for deposit to the Public Utility Regulation Revolving Fund created in subsection E of this section. A public utility may, at its discretion, pay its annual assessment prior to the due date of the quarterly payments.
E. Any assessment collected by the Commission pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the Public Utility Regulation Revolving Fund hereby created. The fund shall be a continuing fund not subject to fiscal year limitations and shall consist of the monies received by the Commission from any assessment levied pursuant to the provisions of this section. All monies accruing to the credit of the fund are hereby appropriated and may be budgeted and expended by the Commission to pay the costs, both direct and indirect, of the Public Utilities Division incurred to regulate public utilities. Expenditures from said fund shall be made upon warrants issued by the State Treasurer against claims filed as prescribed by law with the Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services for approval and payment.
F. The Legislature shall establish budgetary limits for the Public Utility Division of the Corporation Commission. Any assessment levied pursuant to this section shall not exceed the amount of the budgetary limits and indirect costs for related support functions established by the Legislature for any fiscal year.
G. For purposes of this section, "public utility" means:
1. A public utility as defined by Section 151 of this title, excluding those companies encompassed by paragraph (d) of Section 151 of this title;
2. Any telephone or telecommunications company subject to Section 131 et seq. of this title, including interexchange telecommunications companies or such other telecommunications companies as defined by OCC Rule OAC 165:55-1-4, resellers as defined by OCC Rule OAC 165:56-1-4 and operator service providers as defined by OCC Rule OAC 165:57-1-4; and
3. Any association or cooperative corporation doing business under the Rural Electric Cooperative Act except for generation and transmission associations or cooperative corporations, or transmission associations or cooperative corporations.
H. It is the intention of the Legislature that this entire section is an amendment to and alteration of Sections 18 through 34, inclusive, of Article IX of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma, as authorized by Section 35 of Article IX of said Constitution.
Added by Laws 1993, c. 278, § 43, operative Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Laws 1996, c. 91, § 1, eff. July 1, 1996; Laws 1998, c. 126, § 1, eff. July 1, 1998; Laws 2012, c. 304, § 60.
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