Oklahoma City allowed to move forward with franchise fight

Offices of the Supreme Court — CMSWillowbrook


Oklahoma City scored a minor victory this week before the Oklahoma Supreme Court where it’s fighting the Corporation Commission over franchise taxes that aren’t being collected by some utilities.

The Chief Justice is allowing the city to exceed a 30-page limit in presenting its argument that the Corporation Commission decision is unconstitutional.  The City argued in a filing in January that the 30-page limit didn’t allow the court to consider all of the facts and details in the case.

Oklahoma City appealed after the Corporation Commission approved bond securitization for public utilities dealing with 2021 Winter Storm Uri costs. The order affected the collection of franchise fees by Oklahoma City and other cities where the utilities offer services through franchise contracts.

“The resulting Order prevents Utilities from billing customers for franchise fees, municipal fees or taxes,” argued the city in its filings. It also contends the Corporation Commission rushed through the securitization orders and allowed only 15 days before regulators took the matter under advisement in August 2022.