PG&E Pays Hefty Property Tax Bill

Written by Estero Bay News

May 4, 2022

The biggest utility company in California recently paid the second installment of its property taxes and fees, with nearly 300 agencies splitting over $460 million, and San Luis Obispo County getting a sizable chunk.

Pacific Gas & Electric announced April 19 that it paid over $464 million in property taxes and franchise fees to 50 counties, 246 cities and one special district, where the utility company owns and operates gas and electric infrastructure.

According to a news release, PG&E paid more than $310 million in property taxes to the 50 counties. The payment covers from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2022. Total payments for the tax year of July 1, 2021, to June 30, totaled more than $621 million (property taxes are paid in installments), for an increase of $84 million over the previous tax year, the company said.

PG&E also pays “franchise fees” to cities and counties for use of public streets for the gas and electric lines. Franchise fees totaled nearly $154 million — nearly $106 million for electric service and more than $47 million for natural gas — for an increase of over $15 million from the prior year.

PG&E in SLO County, has Diablo Canyon Power Plant and provides electric service but not gas. But throughout most of its service territory, it provides both. SLO County marks the northern edge of Southern California Gas Company’s service territory, and the southern edge of PG&E’s gas service.

“Property tax and franchise fee payments,” Chris Foster, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for PG&E, said, “are one of the many important ways PG&E helps drive our hometown economies and support essential public services like education and public safety. These payments reflect the substantial local investments we are making in our gas and electric infrastructure to create a safer and more reliable system and to better mitigate against wildfire risk.”

Close to home, SLO County received over $8.6 million, according to PG&E’s figures. Monterey County got $4.8M; and Kern County $11.1M.

Alameda County tops the overall list with $39.1M; followed by Santa Clara at $38.7M; Contra Costa at $23.7M; and Fresno County at $21.1M.

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