Iowa Independent: Judge rules majority of city franchise fees must be refunded
Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent
A Polk County judge has ruled that the City of Des Moines must refund
aportion of the franchise fee it has charged utility customers since
2004. Of the $12.6 million a year raised from the franchise fee, the
city must refund $9 million, according to the ruling by Judge Joel
Novak. The fee, which amounts to a 5 percent charge on gas and
electric bills, should have been set at 1 percent, the judge said.
Legislation signed into law by Gov. Chet Culver last week allows
cities in Iowa to charge the full 5 percent for franchise fees going
forward, but that won't affect the ruling, which the city has
indicated it plans to appeal.