Idaho Supreme Court reverses utility fee lawsuit

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The Idaho Supreme Court has vacated a district court judgment and remanded the case for a corrected judgment.
In December of 2011 the Building Contractors Association filed suit against the City of Pocatello, challenging its PILOT, or payment in lieu of tax program. The program calculated user and connection fees that generated money beyond the basic expense of providing city and water services.
In 2013, the district court entered a judgment, telling the city it could not use the PILOT component in bills sent to users of the city water and sewer systems.  The decision decreased monthly bills by about 10 percent.
In 2014, the Hill Vu Mobile Home Park and Ed Quinn filed action seeking a refund of the PILOT payments they had made to the city during the time it was collecting those PILOT fees.
The court ruled in favor of the city. 
But, the mobile home park appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court and the original decision was overturned Wednesday.   The case was remanded back to district court for an appropriate determination of damages consistent with the opinion.
By one account, the cost to the city could approach 25 million dollars.

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