Judge rules Austin monthly drainage fee invalid

Water Bill

AUSTIN (AP) — A judge has nixed monthly drainage fees that raise millions of dollars for a Central Texas city after some residents challenged who must pay how much.

The 2009 lawsuit said Austin was unfairly charging some apartment and condominium residents the same amount as people in larger single-family homes.

Judge Amy Clark Meachum on Friday ruled the monthly fee invalid and awarded $68,000 in legal fees to plaintiffs. The judge did not address whether the fees must be refunded.

Austin officials say they are disappointed by the ruling and are reviewing their legal options over fees levied on more than 300,000 customers. Records show the fee is $9.20 per month for most residential customers.

The money helps fund programs including flood warning systems and maintaining storm sewers.

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