KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal News


Pima County sues Tucson over differential water rates in the unincorporated County

Posted at 6:05 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 20:05:15-05

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pima County announced a lawsuit has been filed against the city of Tucson over unfair and unconstitutional Tucson Water rates in the unincorporated County.

The lawsuit was filled Friday in Pima County Superior Court against Tucson over what they say is an "imposition of discriminatory, illegal, and unconstitutional water rates" on Tucson Water customers outside city limits.

The city's new rates went into effect Dec. 1, raising rates between 10-50% based on their usage, which "discriminates on the basis of race in violation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, violate a state law requiring municipal utilities set rates that are “just and reasonable,” and violates the state constitution’s prohibition on special laws.," according to Pima County.

Previously, the Board of Supervisors made the decision intending to sue the city of Tucson over differential water rates.

“Pima County and the Board of Supervisors didn’t want this,” said Board Chair Sharon Bronson. “We spent a year asking and even pleading with the city not to do what should be clear to everyone is unfair, unreasonable, and unconstitutional. We gave them ample proof that what they were doing was wrong and illegal. Yet the City Council did it anyway. We have no option left but to seek relief from the court and protect county taxpayers from this ill-considered and illegal action by the Mayor and Council.”

The county says there are several reasons to stop the hike, including Tucson water designation as regional utility supplier. They also say the increased rates adopted by the city are too high to be considered reasonable.

The county wants a judge to say the hike is illegal and stop the city from charging the increased rate.

Click here to read the full City of Tucson differential water rate lawsuit.