Oregon cities get audit payoff

Phone providers are offering $3.1 million to 69 Oregon cities for unfinished audits.

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As a settlement for unfinished audits on fees paid by Verizon Northwest and Qwest Corporation, the two phone comanies are offering millions of dollars to a number of Oregon cities.

The cities banded together in 2002, prompted by a sharp drop in money paid by companies who place poles and wires in the public right of way. Skeptical city leaders questioned whether increased cell phone usage fully explained the decline in franchise fees — the second-largest revenue source for municipalities behind property taxes.

Now, 27 cities including Hillsboro and Beaverton have been offered $1.68 million by Verizon, with a settlement expected as early as this month. Portland, Eugene, Salem and Gresham are among 48 cities that settled with Qwest this year for $1.4 million.

Read the full story at OregonLive.com.

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