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Saavedra v. City of Glendale CA2/5
A charter city operating its own electric utility increased electric rates in 2013 based on a rate study that allocated an annual amount to the city’s general fund. A utility employee and his union filed a petition for declaratory relief and a writ of mandate on the ground that the annual amount transferred to the general fund was a tax requiring voter approval. The trial court found the new rates were a tax, because the annual transfer was not a cost of providing electric service. On appeal, the City contends the lawsuit is barred by the 120-day statute of limitations provided in Public Utilities Code section 10004.5. We conclude, however, that the city waived this statute of limitations defense by failing to timely raise Public Utilities Code section 10004.5. The City further contends the electric rates imposed in 2013 were not a tax requiring voter approval. We find that the rates set in 2013 exceeded the city’s reasonable costs in providing electric services. The amount

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