DM wants judge to decertify franchise fee case - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DM wants judge to decertify franchise fee case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Des Moines wants a judge to decertify a class-action lawsuit over its franchise fee for gas and electric utilities.

A judge ruled last month that the city overcharged utility customers and collected what amounted to an illegal tax. The ruling could mean a refund of $50 million, including damages, interests and costs.

If a judge rules in favor of the city's request, individuals who paid the fee could be required to sue separately.

The city has failed in three previous attempts to decertify the case.

The lawsuit was filed in 2004 on behalf of Lisa Kragnes, who questioned why the franchise fee was on her bill. Her attorney, Brad Schroeder, says a judge has heard the same motion three times and "was not impressed."

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