NOTES TO COMBINED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS -- (CONTINUED)
additional regulatory oversight by the FCC and local or state franchise
authorities. The Cable Acts and the corresponding FCC regulations have
established rate regulations.
The 1992 Cable Act permits certified local franchising authorities to order
refunds of basic service tier rates paid in the previous twelve-month period
determined to be in excess of the maximum permitted rates. As of December 23,
1998, the amount refunded by the Company has been insignificant. The Company may
be required to refund additional amounts in the future.
The Company believes that it has complied in all material respects with the
provisions of the 1992 Cable Act, including the rate setting provisions
promulgated by the FCC. However, in jurisdictions that have chosen not to
certify, refunds covering the previous twelve-month period may be ordered upon
certification if the Company is unable to justify its basic rates. The Company
is unable to estimate at this time the amount of refunds, if any, that may be
payable by the Company in the event certain of its rates are successfully
challenged by franchising authorities or found to be unreasonable by the FCC.
The Company does not believe that the amount of any such refunds would have a
material adverse effect on the financial position or results of operations of
The 1996 Telecom Act, among other things, immediately deregulated the rates
for certain small cable operators and in certain limited circumstances rates on
the basic service tier, and as of March 31, 1999, deregulates rates on the cable
programming service tier (CPST). The FCC is currently developing permanent
regulations to implement the rate deregulation provisions of the 1996 Telecom
Act. The Company cannot predict the ultimate effect of the 1996 Telecom Act on
the Company's financial position or results of operations.
The FCC may further restrict the ability of cable television operators to
implement rate increases or the United States Congress may enact legislation
that could delay or suspend the scheduled March 1999 termination of CPST rate
regulation. This continued rate regulation, if adopted, could limit the rates
charged by the Company.
A number of states subject cable television systems to the jurisdiction of
centralized state governmental agencies, some of which impose regulation of a
character similar to that of a public utility. State governmental agencies are
required to follow FCC rules when prescribing rate regulation, and thus, state
regulation of cable television rates is not allowed to be more restrictive than
the federal or local regulation. The Company is subject to state regulation in
14. INCOME TAXES:
Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the estimated future
tax consequence attributable to differences between the financial statement
carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax
bases. Deferred income tax assets and liabilities are measured using the enacted
tax rates in effect for the year in which those temporary differences are
expected to be recovered or settled. Deferred income tax expense or benefit is
the result of changes in the liability or asset recorded for deferred taxes. A
valuation allowance must be established for any portion of a deferred tax asset
for which it is more likely than not that a tax benefit will not be realized.
For the period from January 1, 1998, through December 23, 1998, and the
years ended December 31, 1997 and 1996, no current provision (benefit) for
income taxes was recorded. The effective income tax rate is less than the
federal rate of 35% primarily due to providing a valuation allowance on deferred
income tax assets.