In March Des Moines residents will decide whether to raise franchise fees in order to pay for a franchise fee settlement.
City leaders consider the plan to be the “least of three evils.”
Des Moines owes taxpayers $41,000,000. There are three options to pay it off; none of them are particularly appealing.
“The first option is to reduce (city) services,” said councilman, Skip Moore, ”that means lay people off; that’s not acceptable.”
Leaders say they’ve already cut more than $28-million and reduced more than 300 jobs from the new budget. Further cuts hit services considered urgent or projects already under contract.
Des Moines could raise property taxes, but that burden falls heavy on homeowners.
“40% of the properties in Des Moines are tax exempt,” Hensley said, “they don’t pay property taxes.”