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Ruling in a Los Angeles case, the California Supreme Court has ruled taxpayers can file class-action claims when seeking refunds from cities and counties for illegal local taxes.

Monday's unanimous ruling overturns lower-court rulings requiring taxpayers to file individual refund claims.

In class action claims, an individual can win damages for an entire group of people affected by the same unlawful action.

The San Francisco Chronicle says Estuardo Ardon sued the city of Los Angeles in 2006, claiming a city telephone tax was illegal because it was linked to a federal excise tax that had been ruled invalid. The suit seeks millions of dollars in refunds for all phone customers in the city.

But the case has remained on hold while state courts determined whether Ardon can represent a group.

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