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Chula Vista settles suit over cell phone tax

May 7, 2013 News Articles

By Dave Rice – San Diego Reader

The City of Chula Vista appears set to settle a class action lawsuit brought by wireless phone users who claim the city has been charging an illegal tax rate on the devices.

Under the terms of the settlement, which received preliminary approval in a San Diego court on Friday, May 3, Chula Vista admits to no wrongdoing but will agree to lower its telephone user’s tax from 5% to 4.75%. Customers who paid the tax between April 2010 and April 2013 are entitled to claim a refund.

Anyone who has wireless service with a Chula Vista billing address could be eligible to make a claim – claim forms are expected to go out via mail to city residents soon. Rebate options include a flat $35 available to anyone completing a claim form, higher compensation in the form of $50 per covered year payouts or a full refund based on the estimated taxes paid is available to those able to provide greater documentation. Lawyers for the class action suit have set up a website at with access to the claim form and more info.

The city has made available $8 million for payment to claimants, though attorney’s fees will likely consume a significant portion of the sum.