Some key downtown Des Moines businesses are voicing support for passage of the March 4 referendum on a franchise fee so the city of Des Moines can make $40 million in reimbursements to residents as ordered by a judge who ruled that an earlier franchise fee was an illegal tax. Spokespeople for Meredith Corporation, The Principal Financial Group and Sticks, Inc. told DesMoinesRegister.com that the franchise fee would cost them less than an increase in property taxes - the alternative if voters don't approve the fee. Last week, the Polk County Taxpayers Association recommended approval of the fee.