SF City Council advances ordinance which would increase cable bill fee

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A fee on your cable bill could be going up. The Sioux Falls City Council unanimously advanced an ordinance to renew and increase a franchise agreement with Midcontinent Communications. 

The vote was six to zero; councilor Pat Starr recused himself, and councilor Christine Erickson was absent. Right now the contract with Midco includes a 2.5 percent franchise fee. The proposal includes a 5 percent franchise fee, plus a 1 percent community grant. The city would collect these fees from providers, and the cost would be passed on to customers.

Jason Reisdorfer, director of innovation and technology with the City of Sioux Falls, says the push to double the franchise fee is because in mid-2020, the city will lose internet sales tax revenue.

“That was really the catalyst for why we went to the five plus one, that was the major driver of it,” Reisdorfer said.

Even though all councilors present supported the first reading of this ordinance, there was some concern with the increase.

“Playing this out for the public, we want to make sure that we’re not raising any kind of fees that don’t need to be raised,” councilor Theresa Stehly said.

This ordinance now moves on to a second reading next Tuesday.

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