Franchise Fees and Cityhood

If a city is created will franchise fees increase my utility bills?

No. Franchise fees are fees you already pay, but since we are not a city, Vinings does not receive any of that money, which is a substantial amount according to the UGA Carl Vinson Institute – $915K a year.


“Franchise Fees are collected based on electric service inside or outside of city limits. If you live within the city limits of a city with which Georgia Power does NOT have a franchise agreement, you will pay as outside the city limits.” State of Georgia Public Service Commission

This is how it works…

GA Power

GA Power collects a municipal franchise fee from all non-city customers, based on power usage/charges. They also collect a municipal franchise fee from customers inside city limits. There is also an unidentified franchise fee on everyone’s bill (but it doesn’t show up on your bill, because it is included in the base rate). That’s another 1% of your bill.

All franchise fees collected directly and indirectly from all GA Power customers are put into a pool. The money is distributed to all GA cities in proportion to their size.

Natural Gas

A franchise fee is included in the base rate of all customers, but is only paid to municipalities. It doesn’t show up on your bill, but it’s there.

Telephone (land lines only):

Cities may, but don’t have to, charge a franchise fee to LAND-LINE phones. There is no franchise fee for cell phones. That fee can be up to 3% of the phone charges. Counties cannot charge this fee.


Franchise fees are identical for Cities and Counties. The fees are paid either to the County (in unincorporated areas), or to GA cities. And if you use a satellite provider, there are no franchise fees. According to professional research, currently residents of the unincorporated areas of Cobb pay a HIGHER cable franchise fee per capita than city residents. Research shows that the average for Cobb cities is $12.36 per capita, which is lower than unincorporated Cobb’s $15.85.

Why are franchise fees such a big deal to cities?
There’s real money out there…the fees will just come to the City of Vinings instead of going somewhere else around the state.