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Utility Pays Cities, Counties Property Taxes, Franchise Fees

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is paying property taxes and franchise fees of more than $337 million this spring to the 50 counties and 243 cities where the energy company owns and operates gas and electric infrastructure that serves 16 million Californians.

Locally, PG&E paid property taxes of more than $14 million to Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties.

“Property tax and franchise fee payments are one of the important ways PG&E helps drive local economies and supports essential public services like education and public safety. This year’s higher payments reflect the substantial local investments we are making in our gas and electric infrastructure to create one of the safest and most reliable energy companies in the nation,” said Jason Wells, senior vice president and chief financial officer for PG&E.

PG&E pays franchise fees to cities and counties for the use of public streets for its gas and electric facilities. The energy company submitted the fees to counties by March 31 and to cities by April 15.

The franchise fee payments totaled nearly $132 million – almost $31 million for natural gas and $101 million for electric service. This sum is over $6 million more than the previous year’s total. In addition, PG&E also collected and remitted to cities and counties over $25 million in statutory franchise fee surcharges.

PG&E also increased its payment of property taxes sharply this year as the energy company continued to make significant investments in its gas and electric system to improve safety and reliability.

On April 10, PG&E paid property taxes of over $205 million to the 50 counties in which it owns property. The payment covers the period from January 1 to June 30, 2017. Total payments for the tax year of July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 are more than $411 million—an increase of $25 million over, or seven percent more than, the prior fiscal year.

PG&E invested about $5.7 billion last year and expects to invest about $6 billion this year to enhance and upgrade its gas and electrical infrastructure across Northern and Central California.

Last year PG&E provided more than $28 million in community grants and investments to enrich local educational opportunities, preserve the environment, and support economic vitality and emergency preparedness. PG&E employees provide thousands of hours of volunteer service in their local communities. The company also offers a broad spectrum of economic development services to help local businesses grow.