Rogue Valley Sewer Services v. City of Phoenix

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Municipal Law
  • Date Filed: 04-09-2014
  • Case #: A148968
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Duncan, J.; and Brewer, J. pro tempore.
  • Full Text Opinion

Where a city's charter broadly confers all authority not denied by state or federal law, it confers on the city the power to impose local taxes and to regulate matters subject to municipal regulation.

Rogue Valley Sewer Services (RVS) appealed a summary judgment concluding that a City of Phoenix ordinance that imposed a five percent fee on gross receipts of RVS collected from residents of the city for sewer services was valid. RVS contended that the city was not authorized to charge the fee and sought to enjoin the city from enforcing the ordinance. RVS argued that because RVS was formed under ORS chapter 450, and thus is a "local government" and a "public body" as those terms are defined in ORS chapter 174, the city must have a specific and express statutory grant of authority to charge the fee against RVS. The Court disagreed with RVS's proposition, stating that the mere fact that RVS is organized as a sanitary authority under ORS chapter 450 does not serve to circumscribe the city's authority as a home-rule municipality to impose local taxes and regulations. Thus, the question was not whether the city could identify an express statutory authorization for the franchise fee imposed on RVS for use of the city's rights-of-way but whether the city was prohibited from imposing the fee by state or federal law. RVS also asserted that the city's ordinance was preempted by statutes in ORS chapter 450, establishing sanitary authorities, and by ORS 221.420 and ORS 221.450. The Court concluded that the city's ordinance was not prohibited by state law because none of the statutes relied on by RVS expressed a clear intention by the legislature to preempt the city's authority to impose its franchise fee and the city's ordinance could operate concurrently with those statutes. Affirmed.

Advanced Search