LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee County is considering hiking franchise fees for Florida Power and Light customers, in order to get more money in its effort to close a budget shortfall. Lee is also negotiating a new deal with FPL that could bring another fee hike.
Commissioners Tuesday are expected to vote on a 1.5 percent increase in the fees. That would raise about $4 million a year.
At the same time, FPL and Lee are talking about a new, 30-year contract. If that is approved, Lee would get permission to possibly raise fees a second time, by another 1.4 percent. That would bring in just under $4-million.
Both hikes would mean, a homeowner paying an FPL bill of $120 a month, would pay just under $2 more a month for each increase.
The new contract would give FPL the exclusive electricity rights in unincorporated Lee for the next 30 years.
Some commissioners say the fee hikes are fairer than property tax hikes, because the fees also affect renters, not just property owners.
"It is a terrible idea. Many of us are still struggling, coming out of the recession. It is just not the right time for that to occur," said Henry Burden, an FPL customer.