Chula Vista to pay out big for illegal cell-phone tax

Claims deadline on July 31

The $8 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit between wireless phone users and the City of Chula Vista means thousands of residents are eligible for refunds — but valid claims must be filed by July 31, 2013.

According to, “This case was filed by two Chula Vista residents who believe the City of Chula Vista unlawfully collected a local tax on their cellular phone bill. The Court certified the lawsuit as a class action, so all people with a cell phone and a billing address in Chula Vista are represented in the lawsuit. The City denied any wrongdoing and still denies any liability in this case.”

The three payment options are $35, $50 per year of cell phone service ($150 maximum), or an estimated full refund. The refunds are available to Chula Vista wireless phone users who paid the city’s “Telephone/Utility Users Taxes” on their wireless phone bills from April 2010 through April 2013.

According to a Voice of San Diego article published in May, a City of Chula Vista spokesperson said “the city has enough money stashed away to pay the full $8 million if necessary.”

The San Diego law offices of CaseyGerry organized a meeting to be held at the Chula Vista Civic Library’s Civic Center branch auditorium at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 15, to aid eligible taxpayers in completing their claims. The Newport Beach offices of Capretz & Associates are also involved in the suit.

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