City of Chico gets over a million a year in franchise fees from PG&E – oh excuse me – I mean, from PG&E ratepayers

11 Feb

After we found out about the fees Comcast pays to the city of Chico

several of us wondered about other utility companies and what they – meaning US, the RATEPAYERS -pay to operate here.  So I asked city of Chico clerk Debbie Presson.

thank you again,

I have had another question from readers – does PG&E pay the city a franchise or other license fee (not including the UUT), and if so, how much does the city receive in such fees from PG&E per year? 

 I’m pretty sure I know the answer to the first question but not 100 percent and don’t want to be accused of spreading misinformation. If you are not able to answer please forward my questions to someone who has the information on hand.

 Thank you, at your convenience, for your response – Juanita Sumner

To which she cheerfully responded:

Hi Juanita,

 I don’t believe that PG&E has a franchise agreement with the City…however, I will check with Administrative Services and have them get back to you.

 Have a great weekend.


No, no, no, that’s not right. I did further digging on my own.

From PG&E,

“Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is paying property taxes and franchise fees of more than $337 million this spring to the 50 counties and 243 cities where the energy company owns and operates gas and electric infrastructure that serves 16 million Californians.”

“PG&E pays franchise fees to cities and counties for the use of public streets for its gas and electric facilities. The energy company submitted the fees to counties by March 31 and to cities by April 15.”

And, from Ch 7 news out of Redding,

“Chico$ 407,735.25      $ 201,282.46      $ 609,017.71 “

That’s for tax year 2011-12? Over a million dollars in franchise fees, plus the property tax paid to the county (also listed). 

The city of Chico gets roughly half of all property tax proceeds collected by the county of Butte.

So I guess I should have asked her, “how much money does the city of Chico get from PG&E. Period.” 

We’ll see what Administrative Services has to say.

5 Responses to “City of Chico gets over a million a year in franchise fees from PG&E – oh excuse me – I mean, from PG&E ratepayers”

  1. bob February 11, 2018 at 7:49 pm #

    I believe the city gets around 1.1 million a year out of Comcast. The PEG fee Comcast pays was 183304 last year and they pay that plus a tax that’s 5 times more. What’s Cal Water have to pay the city? Also, what does AT&T pay? I believe there was a line item on the AT&T bill for city tax but I can’t recall as I don’t have AT&T any more. Also, I don’t know if AT&T has to pay additional taxes to the city besides that line item tax on the bill. What about Sprint, T-Mobile and the other wireless carriers? I bet they must get squeezed, too.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the city makes all the big retailers like Walmart and Costco pay big fees, also. Probably any entity that generates significant revenue is going to get squeezed. Isn’t this just how the mafia works? But I bet the protection the mafia offers is a lot better than Chico PD. If a business the mafia was putting the squeeze on was over-run with homeless or being broken into all the time the mafia would do something instead of letting one of their cash cows lose milk!

    But of course in the end most of those fees, taxes or whatever you want to call them get passed on to us. And of course most of the people in this city haven’t a clue.

    • Juanita Sumner February 12, 2018 at 6:00 am #

      Good questions – I suspected this, but am shocked to find out how much they – WE! – pay. I’m sure most people are clueless.

      And for what? The “right” to have lines on city streets? They run lines down my private easement, right across my back yard, to service my neighbors, and I don’t get a penny. They tell me they have an easement right – maybe I better call a lawyer?

  2. bob February 13, 2018 at 5:45 pm #

    Maybe the Bee is starting to wake up about the pension situation for the city of Sacramento. They ran that article by Walters and now this. I wonder if they regret getting rid of Walters. Probably not as the Bee worships at the alter of government.

    And the Bee ends with this:

    “During the Great Recession, many cities had to slash services to residents. In the next downturn, pension obligations will make balancing budgets even tougher. And local taxpayers will pay for it, one way or another. That’s our nightmare.”

    Did they ever consider that it’s a completely unnecessary nightmare if they bring some sanity to city employee compensation, especially the pensions? I guess asking for sanity is asking for too much.

    Read more here:

    • Juanita Sumner February 14, 2018 at 6:05 am #

      I think the Bee might be feeling the heat of Cal Matters. They have been too long without competition since The Union folded.

      The foxes are in charge of the henhouse and you’re asking them to quit having eggs for breakfast and chickens for dinner.

      I’m not sure what it would take to bring sanity to this situation.

  3. bob February 13, 2018 at 5:49 pm #

    $1.2 Trillion Asset Manager: Forget Volatility, The Real Financial Timebomb Is Public Pensions

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