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Thread: Interesting US Supreme Court decision about sewer costs

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003

    Interesting US Supreme Court decision about sewer costs

    Supreme Court backs city of Indianapolis in sewer dispute

    The court ruled 6-3 to affirm the Indiana Supreme Court's decision that Indianapolis did not violate the Equal Protection Clause when it forgave the debt for homeowners who still owed money under an old payment program when the city switched to a different sewer funding system in 2005.
    I wonder if this this will have a ripple effect or just apply to Indianapolis ?

  2. #2
    Mod Gedunker's avatar
    Aug 2003
    The Wonderland Way
    It will apply nationally until another case comes before the court and the court decides otherwise.

    For those without time to read the article, sewer lines were extended to an existing neighborhood and owners were ordered to hook up with options of paying all at once, or over time (with interest). A number of owners paid in full up front and then the City changed their billing regime and waived the folks that chose to pay over time arguing it was too complicated to maintain two billing schedules. Some folks were out close to $10K, others had only paid a little ore than $300. The folks that paid big-time sued, were upheld in the Indiana Court of Appeals, the City appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court which overturned the trial and appeals courts, and finally to the SCOTUS.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    May 2004
    Is this limited to municipal sewer costs? It seems like to would apply equally to all kinds of transactions. I haven't read the decision, but it seems like this will result in some of these owners being billed twice for the services - since waiving the repayment just equals collecting it from general taxes. Hard to see how that isn't unequal treatment.
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