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Falls Church loses court fight over water revenue

A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge ordered Tuesday that the City of Falls Church stop transferring surplus money from its water collection services to its general operating budget.

Circuit Court Judge R. Terrence Ney ruled that Falls Church was violating its own charter and Virginia's constitution by transferring the money, which critics had argued allowed Falls Church to unfairly subsidize low property tax rates for its homeowners by selling high-priced water.

For decades, Falls Church has purchased water from the Washington Aqueduct, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for sale beyond its boundaries, including areas such as Tysons Corner and Dunn Loring.

Falls Church serves more than 34,000 businesses and homes, most of them in the surrounding county and Falls Church officials have argued that a series of federal laws controlling the aqueduct's water, and a 1959 agreement with the county, give the city exclusive rights to sell service in certain parts of Fairfax.

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 6, 2010; 7:27 PM ET
Categories:  Derek Kravitz , Fairfax County  
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