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Pima County supervisors vote to sue city over differential water rate hike

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Posted at 11:08 AM, Nov 24, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pima County intends to sue the city of Tucson over differential water rates.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors made the decision in a Wednesday morning meeting.

The city has approvved a water rate hike for unincorporated areas of Pima County, raising rates between 10 and 50 percent.

On Monday, the Supervisors outlined its argument against differential water rates in a 10-page memo.

City leaders are responding to the threat of a lawsuit.

"Today's vote by the Board of Supervisors lacks any legal basis, is purely symbolic, and sets a dangerous precedent," says Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. "The courts have affirmed the legality of differential water rates, and water utilities throughout the state already have them in place."

"This was always a possibility," says Ward 2 councilmember Paul Cunningham. "They are wasting public resources for a lawsuit that will ultimately have no merit. I hope legal fees are recoverable in this case."

Ward 6 councilmember Steve Kozachik says, "The courts will sort this out, and in the meantime it's important that the public see this issue will not drive a wedge between the city and the county on the many other important issues we need to collaborate on."