Montana regulators ask utilities to account for tax overhaul

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HELENA, Mont - Montana's utility regulators want to make sure utility customers benefit from the recently passed tax overhaul that reduces corporate tax rates.

The Public Service Commission on Wednesday directed regulated utilities to calculate the change in tax liability they expect under the new tax bill and, by the end of March, offer proposals for how it would apply the savings.

NorthWestern Energy's electric and natural gas utilities are subject to the requirement as is the electric service of Montana-Dakota Utilities. Energy West's natural gas and MDU's natural gas utility will have their rates adjusted for the effect of the new tax law as part of rate cases pending before the PSC.

The commission issued the order before the new tax law takes effect to preserve its authority to determine how the additional revenue should be spent.