The Clinton City Council has initially supported implementing a ‘franchise fee’ on Alliant gas and electric bills.
The move is to help cover an estimated one-million dollar deficit in the city budget.
At the Thursday budget session the council agreed to start a five-percent franchise on the utility bills. In the discussion city officials stressed that some of the funds would be used for tax relief and when viewed together a resident is likely to pay less between property taxes and franchise fee.
City Finance Director Anita Dalton explained that the overall valuation of property in the city declined by 37 million dollars which meant less money from property taxes. She said a 13 million dollar decline in value at the ADM property thru an appeal process and a 12 million dollar decline due to Alliant Energy decommissioning the M-L Kapp Generating station were the main factors.
With only general increases for wages and other factors the city budget faces a one-million dollar deficit. Dalton says that could be cutting five people from the city payroll.
The council supported the five percent franchise fee and will consider a revenue purpose statement to specify how much of the funds would towards the general fund and how much towards tax relief.
With no franchise fee the city’s proposed tax levy would 17 dollars and 32 cents per thousand dollars taxable value – compared to the current levy of 16-32.
City official say an education and communication effort with citizens about the fee will be needed.
The action will have to formally approved by the council as part of the budget process.