CHICAGO - Des Moines plans to appeal a Polk County District Court ruling last week ordering it to refund a portion of its 5% franchise fee on electricity and gas service.

If the city is ultimately required to abide by the ruling, it could face an up to $50 million liability, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the tax. Standard & Poor's issued a notice after the ruling last Thursday affirming the city's AAA rating and stable outlook, and analysts said the liability does not threaten the rating.

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