The Iowa Court of Appeals has waded into the fight over the city-owned cable company in Cedar Falls. Westmarc Cablevision appealed a lower court’s ruling on whether cable property owned by the Cedar Falls Municipal Utilities was exempt from property taxes. That lower court ruled the city did not have to pay property taxes on property both inside and outside of Cedar Falls that was linked to the cable system. Eleven years ago voters in Cedar Falls established their own cable utility to compete with that private firm. The city-owned utility provides high-speed internet service and cable t-v to residents of Cedar Falls as well as people in Waterloo, Grundy Center, a couple of hospitals and a couple of Waterloo businesses. The Court of Appeals ruled all property connected with the city-owned utility should be exempt from property taxes because its primary role is public service. But the case goes on. The court also ordered the Iowa Department of Revenue to determine whether the Cedar Falls utility was making a profit on the part of its system that’s outside of Cedar Falls. Once the state agency makes that ruling, there may be another reversal — and another appeal — in this long-running legal saga.
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