The city of Paso Robles latest water rate increase remains lawful, an appellate court ruled Tuesday.
The 2nd District Court of Appeals decision denies Paso Robles resident John Borsts argument that the city's current water rate increases, which helps fund the citys share in the Nacimiento Water Project, should have been considered a special tax requiring voter approval instead of going forward as a fee.
The rate hikes have been appearing on Paso Robles users' water bills since January.
The appellate courts ruling Tuesday upholds San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Jac Crawfords earlier decision to dismiss Borsts case on the grounds it was essentially the same case Borst lost about a year before.
Borst sought an appeal because he said the new case presented different arguments.
Crawford has been waiting on the appellate courts decision before issuing his ruling on another Borst lawsuit challenging Paso Robles' water and sewer rate increases in 2002 and 2004. Borst originally filed that suit in 2009 and its been stalled pending the outcome of related court cases, including the appeal.
Crawfords ruling on whether the 2002 and 2004 increases are lawful is expected shortly, City Attorney Iris Yang said. She wasn't sure when it would come, however.