The Knoxville City Council voted to suspend franchise fees at the VA Campus this week. The decision comes after the Department of Veterans Affairs filed a lawsuit against the City of Des Moines regarding similar fees. The VA claimed that the fees were a tax, and they are exempt from taxes as a federal agency.
City Manager Harold Stewart recommended to the Council that the City not get involved in the lawsuit. The Council voted to suspend the fees until either the matter is settled or the lease at the VA is signed. Stewart says if the courts rule in favor of Des Moines, the city will collect on fees not assessed during their suspension. He adds that the lack of the fees coming from the VA may impact the budget slightly, but so far, those franchise fees are coming in better than expected.