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Argued: November 6, 2001

United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) appeals from an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) adopting in part and rejecting in part the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) regarding the general assessments for its fiscal years 1997-1998, 1998-1999 and 1999-2000.

Pursuant to Section 510(a) of the Public Utility Code (Code), 66 Pa. C.S. �510(a), all public utilities in Pennsylvania, including UPS, are required to pay assessments levied by the PUC to cover the PUC’s estimated costs of administering the Code. The PUC’s assessment methodology is a two-step process. First, the PUC must determine the total amount to be assessed against all utilities. This figure is its approved and estimated operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year, net of estimated fees collected for services rendered by the PUC during the fiscal year, and net of any balance carried over into the fiscal year from the preceding year.*fn1 Next, the PUC must allocate that cost among “groups” of utilities and is to do so as follows:

 
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