A judge has come back in favor of some customers of the Modesto Irrigation District who claimed they were overcharged to subsidize irrigation for farmers.
A Stanislaus Superior Court decision found that the water was subsidized with an illegal tax on electric customers. How much ratepayers were overcharged and what the remedy will be is still to be determined.
“We continue to believe our rates appropriately recover the cost of the services we provide,” the MID said in a written statement.
The case is only half decided and it's undetermined whether customers might receive a refund or lower rates, said Attorney Prescott Littlefield, representing the plaintiffs.
“That is really for the second phase of the trial and that’s an issue that we will be exploring as the litigation continues from this point,” he said.
MID stated that its rates are among the lowest in the state and a comparison shows its rates are higher than SMUD but almost half the cost of PG&E.
The MID supplies drinking water to Modesto and power to 128,000 customers. About 3,000 farmers receive irrigation water for 58,000 acres.
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