LONG Beach, Calif., will have to repay more than $30.8 million to its own water utility after a recent court ruling.
This court ruling will allow residential customers to receive up to $160 in credit.
The legal proceeding began in 2021 due to Long Beach’s longstanding practice of charging its own water service access fees to water and sewer lines.
These fees were known as the Measure M Surcharges.
However, in December 2021, an appeals court ruled that the practice was unconstitutional.
Still, the city of Long Beach appealed the lower court’s decision, taking the case to the California Supreme Court.
But the proceedings finally ended on Wednesday, March 23, when the California Supreme Court denied the City of Long Beach’s appeal.
It was noted that the city was illegally collecting approximately $9 million per year from the water utility and had to return a total of approximately $31 million to the water utility.
From there, the money will be returned to customers.
The City of Long Beach legally has until September 20 to transfer all funds.
Long Beach residential customers will receive credit of approximately $160 per account, and commercial accounts could receive credits ranging from $2,500 to $10,000.
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