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Millions of Dollars Still Available for Iowans to Claim

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Des Moines residents are still paying for the court settlement over an illegal tax, and it could mean extra money in your pocket in time for the holidays.

Tens of millions of dollars are waiting to be claimed by people who paid utilities in the city, and residents now have the chance to claim the money they may deserve.

"We've received about $11 million. We have 18 months to return it to the individuals that are on the list," said Karen Austin, Iowa Deputy Treasurer.

The list includes names of Des Moines residents past and present who were forced to pay inflated franchise fees on their MidAmerican utility bills. In 2012, the Iowa Supreme Court upheld a ruling that allowed customers to receive their portion of the $32 million in refunds, despite those checks being mailed out a year ago.

Nearly $11 million belonging to 60,000 Iowans remains unclaimed. To cover the cost of the refunds, the city legally raised the fee, which means customers are already paying for their own refunds. Austin says the amount most people will receive by going to the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt website  could come in handy just in time for the holidays.

"For individuals, we're averaging $100-300," she said. "It is here and it is waiting for people to claim."

Close to $1 million has already been paid out. In the event that someone has passed away, the heirs to that individual can collect the money, as well.