Recently our city utility, Rock Energy Cooperative, was assessed a franchise fee by the city of South Beloit.
Though fee is kind of a misnomer because fees are typically a definitive amount, but not so in this case. As it turns out, Rock Energy isn't paying any fee at all, they merely collect it from South Beloit businesses and citizens to the tune of 55 cents per gas therm and 53 cents per kilowatt hour.
Now, as a cooperative, it could be argued that all expenses are equally divided by all members of the co-op, but it's unclear how much of this burden is being shouldered by members of other communities.
Probably none, because this isn't really a franchise fee at all, but rather another utility tax levied on top of the tax already being collected. In my household the tax is now double what it was before.
Maybe they thought South Beloiters wouldn't appreciate having their taxes doubled.