Assemblywoman Russell Calls for Investigation into National Grid’s Overpayment Claims

January 9, 2009

“Due to accounting miscalculations made from 2005 to 2008, National Grid is asking upstate municipalities to give back between $12 and $13 million in gross receipts taxes that were allegedly overpaid. Locally, the company has made demands for repayment from municipalities including the villages of Potsdam ($53,760) and Canton ($40,974), and the cities of Ogdensburg ($48,573) and Watertown ($184,431). As a whole, North Country municipalities are being asked to repay over $448,566.

“I plan to ask the state Comptroller, the Public Service Commission and the Department of Taxation and Finance to investigate the legality and legitimacy of National Grid’s claims and demands. In these tough economic times, it is unfair to expect municipalities – that are already struggling – to come up with this money. It is additionally outrageous that National Grid is asking for interest – on top of the amounts they’ve demanded – for its own mistake.

“This error should not get passed onto the municipalities so as to place more burdens on our taxpayers. Further, such a significant institutional error by a company of this size should be investigated.”