Ferndale Residents to Receive Water Bill Refunds

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Image credit: Marissa Gawel/WDET

A lawsuit against Ferndale charged the city was violating the state’s tax policy.

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Marissa Gawel/WDET
Marissa Gawel/WDET

Ferndale residents who pay their water bills could soon receive a refund in the mail.  In a recent lawsuit the city agreed to pay back Oakland County drainage district fees that were added to customers’ water rates. Ferndale Assistant City Manager Joseph Gacioch says a businessman claimed the fees were a form of taxation, which is a violation of state policy.  

It’s not a question of who, it’s a question of how. There’s no dispute that the citizens of Ferndale as consumers of this service should pay for it. The question is how, and the question is a definition of fee vs. tax.”

Gacioch says Ferndale agreed to a settlement of $4.25 million. He says drainage district and storm water treatment fees will migrate from resident’s water bills to their property taxes starting in January 2016.

Marissa Gawel, Associate News Producer

Fan of road trips and roasted vegetables. Currently reports from WDET’s newsroom.

mgawel@wdet.org Follow @marissagawel

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