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In 2014, a suit was filed against the City of Pocatello asking for the City to refund user fees collected under a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) component to the City’s utility services. The Idaho Supreme Court ruled the PILOT “was not a reasonable user fee” and in 2018, the district judge in the case granted class certification to city-user fee payers. In 2013, the City of Pocatello stopped collecting PILOT fees, and last year, the judge ruled the City must reimburse class members for the PILOT component of their utility bills paid from April 2012 to April 2014.
Tuesday, the City of Pocatello announced the case is nearing a resolution. Last week, the District Court preliminarily approved a settlement amount of $4.5 million. Next week, the City will be mailing out notices of class action settlement to all current City utility billing account holders.
The notice will be mailed to all current City utility billing account holders in a City of Pocatello envelope and include information on who is included in the settlement, what the settlement provides, how to participate and how to exclude yourself from the settlement, as well as other details.
The court will hold a hearing to determine the fairness and adequacy of the settlement on September 16 at 2 p.m. at the Bannock County Courthouse. On October 15, at 2 p.m., the Court will decide the amount of attorney fees and costs to be awarded to class counsel. This hearing will also be held at the Bannock County Courthouse.
Additional details on the settlement are available at pocatello.us/settlement. Residents who have questions about the settlement may contact the City of Pocatello Legal Department at 208-234-6507.
At this time, we do not have an amount that residents will receive from the settlement, as that amount will be determined by the District Court at the hearings in the fall. The settlement amount will be paid using funds from the City’s reserves. We do not anticipate this use of reserves will impact the City on a day-to-day basis.