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Modesto Irrigation District Accused Of Overcharging Customers

Rich Ibarra / Capital Public Radio
 

Rich Ibarra / Capital Public Radio

A lawsuit filed against the Modesto Irrigation District accuses the district of overcharging some customers for electricity.

MID serves most of Stanislaus County with 113,000 water and electric customers.

Dave Thomas is suing MID and hoping to add other plaintiffs to the lawsuit.

Thomas alleges that the non-profit, public agency is overcharging residential customers to subsidize farmers so they can receive lower rates for irrigation water. Thomas says that is an illegal tax.

“The MID is making well over $100 million a year in profits and undercharging farmers about $25 million,” says Thomas.

MID’s Melissa Williams says she can’t comment on the suit because the district hasn’t received it yet.

But Williams says residential customers pay 28 percent less for power than PG&E customers.

“These low electric rates result in over $100 million of annual savings for our community, and we actually haven’t had a rate increase in 4 years.”

Thomas who brought the suit claims farmers comprise a majority on the MID board.