Clerical mix-up led to misguided Comcast franchise fees for Chico

Feb 5, 2015 6:53 PM by News Staff

We have an update as to why the City of Chico had been missing out nearly $200,000 a year in franchise fees from cable company Comcast.

A day after Action News Now reported that an audit had uncovered the shortfall, a Comcast spokesperson clarified their part in the mix-up. It turns out that Comcast had been paying the money all the time. The problem? It was going to the wrong agency.

"Comcast has been paying the proper amount in franchise fees all along, but the payments have been going to Butte County instead of the City of Chico," explains Brian Byrd, director of communications. "

He added that the City of Chico had annexed portions of Butte County into the City, but Comcast was not properly notified of the annexations because notifications were being sent to an incorrect address in the name of someone who no longer worked at Comcast.

"The clerical error has been corrected and the already properly paid franchise fees are being reassigned to the City of Chico," Byrd added.

A recent audit of city fees discovered that Chico has been missing out on about $200,000 a year in franchise fees from Comcast over the past four years.

Franchise fees are commonly charged to vendors like cable, telecom or even garbage companies for the right to do business in a particular municipality.

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