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Paying the water bill: Case highlights disparities (access required)

Water wars are being waged in Virginia localities, and the Supreme Court of Virginia is poised to dip a toe into the murky depths. Residents of Virginia counties often pay more for water and sewer service than do the residents of towns and cities that provide the service. It’s a big issue for cash-strapped local governments. In ...

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One comment

  1. Thanks for reporting on this important case, in which the Virginia Supreme Court will again define the deference afforded local government legislative bodies in passing ordinances such as the utility rate ordinance in question here.

    As author of an amicus brief in the Town of Leesburg case filed on behalf of the Virginia Municipal League, I note that there has traditionally been a very low threshold of evidence necessary to make an issue “fairly debatable.” In most cases decided against a local government legislative body like the Town Council here, there has been a total lack of evidence of reasonableness. Here, as your article suggested, there was evidence that showed reasonableness. In such cases, the Virginia Supreme Court has deferred to the elected officials to decide between two (or more) reasonable positions.

    This case will be argued on September 13, and I look forward to the published opinion this Fall. Undoubtedly, I will be writing about the opinion on my Virginia Local Government Law Blog, at http://www.VaLocalityLaw.com.

    Thanks again for writing about this important case.

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