GRU Customer Seeks Refund
Gainesville, FL -- We have new details in the case of a Gainesville resident who is questioning one of GRU's practices. Gainesville resident Jim Konish received a response from the City Attorney's Office regarding whether or not one of the taxes collected by GRU on his electricity bill is legal.
In a letter dated May 28th, City Attorney Nicolle Shalley explained, "we found that the manner in which the City and GRU interpret and apply the Public Service Tax law is consistent with utility practice throughout the State."
Konish initially went to John Caravella, office manager of Seniors vs. Crime, a wing of the Attorney General's office that works to solve disputes between businesses and their customers outside of the courtroom. He said, "I would've liked to see a bit more of a dedicated response rather than just a common practice."
Caravella did some research into the tax and found it can only be imposed on consumable goods. According to a Florida statute, because the Electric Customer Charge is a fixed rate that's charged regardless of whether the customer consumes electricity, the charge is considered non-consumable and cannot be taxed.
Konish recently sent a formal request for a refund to GRU. They have 90 days to respond and Konish says he plans to proceed with a civil suit if they deny him.
"They have a lot of money, they have a lot of attorneys, and they seem to think that nobody is going to do anything about this," said Konish.
Konish will be launching a website called www.grutaxrefund.org where other customers can learn more about the Public Service Tax and find out how to formally request a refund themselves.
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