Abstract

ALTHOUGH THERE IS A GROWING ACCEPTANCE OF THE DOCTRINE THAT A CITY SHOULD PROVIDE NEIGHBORING SUBURBS WITH WATER ON REASONABLE AND NONDISCRIMINATORY TERMS, COURTS CONTINUE TO RULE FOR THE DEFENDANT CITIES. NONRESIDENTS URGE THAT A DIFFERENTIAL CHARGE IS PER SE UNREASONABLE AND THEREFORE UNLAWFUL. CITIES INTRODUCE EVIDENCE WHICH MIGHT JUSTIFY DIFFERENTIAL RATES. THERE ARE VALID CLAIMS, SUCH AS CASES WHERE CITY TAXES FINANCE THE WATER SYSTEM, AND CASES WHERE OUTSIDE AREAS ARE SPARSELY SETTLED AND THUS HAVE HIGHER COSTS OF MAINTENANCE AND SERVICE. THERE ARE ALSO CLAIMS WHICH WIN CASES BUT DO NOT COMPENSATE FOR INFLATED SUBURBAN WATER RATES. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT PLAINTIFFS MUST CEASE LIMITING THEMSELVES TO THE DISCRIMINATION PER SE ARGUMENT AND MUST FORCE A SPECIFIC ANALYSIS OF THE RATE DIFFERENTIAL AT ISSUE. A WORKABLE SOLUTION MAY BE TO IMPOSE UPON DEFENDANT CITIES A DUTY OF COMPILING AND PRODUCING THE COST DATA FOR EACH ITEM WHICH IS UTILIZED IN DETERMINING RATES. SUCH A RULE DOES NOT SHIFT THE TRADITIONAL BURDEN OF PROOF; IT MERELY PARTICULARIZES THE BURDEN OF PRODUCTION. ALSO, THE CITY SHOULD HAVE THIS INFORMATION AT HAND, IF ITS RATE RECORDS ARE IN ORDER. (GOSSEN-CHICAGO)

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