Des Moines finalizing $40M franchise fee refunds

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Details are being worked out in court for how the city of Des Moines will refund millions of dollars in fees collected on the utility bills that the courts have declared unlawful.

The city must refund nearly $40 million in franchise fees it collected from utility customers of MidAmerican Energy between 2004 and 2009.

The courts have determined the fees collected by the city were an unlawful tax.

Court documents not yet finalized indicate a class action fund will be established and an administrator named to oversee distribution of the money left after fees for attorneys and the administrator are deducted from the judgment. Claim forms will be mailed to customers due refunds likely August or September.

The city plans to borrow the money by issuing municipal bonds.

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