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The City of Los Angeles Owes You $50 -- or More

Published On 11/16/2015 Published On 11/16/2015
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Do you own a phone? Have you lived in Los Angeles since 2005? Do you love getting free money? Well, here's your chance to gloriously turn the tables and demand cash from the Los Angeles city government. This is not a drill.

As reported by LA Weekly, the city has finally settled Ardon v. City of Los Angeles, a 9-year-old class-action lawsuit that accused Los Angeles of wrongfully taxing Angelenos for telephone service. As a result, the city has been forced to pay $92.5 million in refunds, which could result in easy money if you meet the eligibility criteria -- and there's a good chance that you do.

Specifically, if you had a residential landline phone, business landline phone, or mobile phone service with a billing address within Los Angeles and paid telephone service taxes between October 19, 2005 and March 15, 2008, then you're eligible to file a claim for a refund. This means that if you owned a mobile phone during that time, the city likely owes you $50. If you had a residential landline, you're owed $30, and if you had a business landline, you're owed $50. If you had all three at the time, you can claim a refund of $130, according to the report.

Filing a claim is as easy as going to this website and completing the forms before the February 20, 2016 deadline. However, as LA Weekly points out, you'll have to remember your phone number and your billing address from that time period. But luckily, you're not required to dig up for your decade-old phone bills to get the cash, unless you want to be refunded the actual amount you paid in taxes. After that, you'll likely just have to wait, as a final court hearing on the settlement is set for February 25, 2016. 

The suit was originally brought against the city by a man named Estuardo Ardon. Thanks, Estuardo. That was really cool of you. 

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and wonders if there have been similar lawsuits elsewhere. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.

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