Judge denies motion; for now no changes on how city bills stormwater fees
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A judge has ruled in favor of the city of Lubbock in a lawsuit over the City of Lubbock's stormwater fees.
In orders filed today District Judge Paul Davis granted the city's motion for summary judgment in the John Beck and Beck Steel versus City of Lubbock suit. This means there will be no change in the way the city bills stormwater fees in the foreseeable future. He also denied the plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment.
Beck had petitioned the court for relief on several portions of the stormwater fee.
During the hearing in December, the plaintiffs, John Beck and Beck Steel, told the court why they believe portions of the city's use of drainage fees are improper and result in overcharging ratepayers.
They identified three spending actions the city has engaged in with drainage fees that they argue are unauthorized.
The city is using drainage revenues to pay for general obligation debt.
Also, they say included in the city budget is a franchise fee and payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) that the plaintiffs do not believe the city has the authorization to collect.
Beck's attorney says they are hoping for two remedies.
First, Beck wanted the city to stop collecting the disputed fees. Second, he asked the court to order the city to refund the disputed fees to the ratepayer.
In December both parties argued their case in the 237th District Court. Each party indicated in December it would appeal to the 7th Court of Appeals if it lost in district court.
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