VOTE YES: Campaign To Increase Franchise Fees

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The City of Des Moines has to refund $40 million that were collected as illegal franchise fees.  That expense will be passed on to taxpayers and next week, voters are going to choose which of their bills is going up.

“It's the fairest way and it's the cheapest,” says Mel Pins, co-founder of Yes For Des Moines.

The campaign is sending out flyers leading up to the March 4th Special Election.  Pins says private businesses and individuals are funding the mailers.

“Within 7 years, then this is paid off with the extra 2.5% increase on your utility bill.   If we don't pass this, the city will have to raise property taxes on property owners,” says Pins.

The extra 2.5% adds up to $3.25 a month.

“It's the lesser of the two evils,” says voter Dave Bullis whom plans to vote for the increased franchise fee.

“Neither one are the best option.  It's almost like we're paying ourselves back for the city's mistake,” says Bullis.

“I voted against the referendum because I think we pay too much taxes already,” says Ron Griffey.

Griffey already cast his ballot by absentee.

The Yes For Des Moines campaign is targeting registered voters.   Thousands of mailers have already been sent out and residents can expect more between now and the vote next Tuesday.

“This is fairer because everyone pays,” says Pins.

Next Tuesday, voters will also elect a council member to represent Ward 4.  Joe Gatto and Joe Henry are running to fill the seat left vacant by Brian Meyer.


  • John

    The city took money that was not theirs to take and spent money that was not theirs to spend. When this fee was ruled illegal in district court the city should have stopped collecting it immediately and paid the victims back. To ask the victims to pay themselves back seams so unjust to me. I believe that the only fair thing to do now is to spend less and make room in the budget for these compensation payments. I would suggest making cuts in the budget in areas not related to public safety such as capital improvements..

  • John

    I do not believe that the proposed 2.5% increase in the franchise fee will be temporary. It seems like once a tax or fee is raised it almost never is reduced. Do you remember the “temporary” 1% sales tax increase for public school improvements? When this “temporary” tax was about to expire our elected officials figured out a way to make it permanent..

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