[COLUMN] SRP rate hike stirs up controversy

By Ryan Randazzo

BUSINESS BUZZ Blog/The Arizona Republic

Recent stories about Salt River Project’s 3.9 percent rate hike coming in November have prompted some harsh feedback about profits.

It seems some SRP fans — likely employees, and at least one official spokesman for the utility — aren’t fans of the p-word.

SRP is a municipal utility. It is not like Arizona Public Service Co. and Tucson Electric Power Co., which belong to public companies. They are expected to profit.

SRP is run as a political subdivision. Its peers are operations such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. SRP describes itself as a “not-for-profit” entity, but SRP certainly earns a profit.

Here’s the definition of “profit” from Webster’s: “The sum remaining after all costs, direct and indirect, are deducted from the income of a business.”

In the first quarter of this fiscal year for SRP, May-July, SRP had “a sum remaining after all costs” of $201 million.

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