Friday, June 27, 2008

Farmington Goes the Wrong Way on Franchise Fees

While many states and municipalities have eased the burden on telecommunications consumers by reducing franchise fees, at least one is going the other way. The Farmington, Arkansas city council not only doesn't want to cut fees, it wants to raise them. Recently the council voted to raise gas and telephone franchise fees from 3% to 4%. The move is projected to bring in $25,500.00 in additional revenue.

As we noted elsewhere on the BHI Blog, an increase in franchise fees will hit consumers' pocketbook but also make it harder for low income persons to buy cell phone service.

The council vote was a brazen move. Two years ago, Farmington residents defeated a referendum to raise fees. It remains to be see whether residents will take this increase lying down.

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