Economist Dom Armentano suggests that Vero Beach consider bankruptcy in order to lower electricity rates in the Vero Beach area.
Armentano points out that Vero Beach Utilities charges exorbitantly high electricity rates in order to avoid raising taxes.
It’s no secret that the 34,800 customers of Vero Beach Utilities have long paid electric rates that are far higher than those charged by Florida Power & Light. Since April 2011, for example, the cumulative “overcharge” due to the higher rates has amounted to a staggering $100 million dollars. That this makes zero economic sense is beyond rational dispute.
How does FPUA stand compared? According to electricitylocal.com the average kWh rate in Vero Beach is 13.01¢ while it is 12.99¢ in Fort Pierce. That’s not the only similarity between VBU and FPUA. Armentano continues,
It’s also no secret that the primary cause of the higher rates is the price that the city of Vero Beach is obligated to pay for the power it purchases (the utility itself generates almost nothing) under contracts with the Florida Municipal Power Agency and the Orlando Utility Commission. And it is the inability of the city to terminate these contracts (some of which run through 2043) without gross penalties and “stranded costs” that both sustain the higher rates and stall the proposed sale of the utility.
FPUA is also shackled to the FMPA and stuck in the same extended contracts binding FPUA “customers” to decades of high rates.
Armentano exposes the real underlying issue. VBU and FPUA both overcharge their customers to launder money each city government. This saves the city governments from raising taxes while imposing a tax on non-city residents. While Armentano does not mention the amount that VBU launders to the City of Vero Beach we do have the FPUA totals.
This is an outrage. Take a moment and help fight back against this colossal rip off.Sign the Petition to Sell FPUA