Drees Company v. Hamilton Township
Ohio Supreme Court
970 N.E.2d 916 (2012)
Hamilton Township (defendant) was experiencing rapid growth and imposed a fee on all building-permit applicants. The stated goal of the fee was to give the township funds necessary to provide new properties with the same levels of municipal services existing properties had. Services explicitly included in the adoption of the fee were police, fire, roads, and parks. The township placed the fee funds in a separate account, not the town’s general fund, and the funds in the account could not be used for any other purpose. However, the funds were not earmarked for use for services in a particular geographic area. In other words, the funds were not required to be used for, for example, roads near the properties that paid the fee, but could be used for roads generally in the township. Drees Company (plaintiff) sued the township, claiming that the fees were unconstitutional because they were taxes not authorized by law. The trial court ruled in the township’s favor, and the court of appeals affirmed. Drees appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Pfeifer, J.)
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