Over the past year, I was increasingly convinced the Refuse Fee imposed on property owners in Toledo on April 28, 2007, was not legal. My gut instinct just does not accept that the City can add a "fee" against every property owner in Toledo to pay additional monies and call it a "Refuse Fee" when we already pay income tax which is supposed to pay for refuse services. Once collected, it is dumped into the general fund.
Have you considered that if the 3/4% tax does not pass, if the Refuse Fee is legal, Council could simply increase the amount of the fee to cover the amount lost by non-passage of the 3/4% tax. They probably would not do that, but they could, if the Fee is legal. All they would need to do is raise the "Fee" to $53 per property (91,000 per Mike Collins) per month to equal the $58,000,000. If it is legal for Council to do this, then there would be no reason at all to ever put a tax on the ballot.
To anyone interested,
THIS IS A TAX -- THIS IS NOT A FEE -- VOTERS MUST APPROVE A TAX!!
That's the bottom line, the nitty gritty of this lawsuit, this "fee" is not legal.
For several months, I spent an extensive amount of time researching and reaching out to advisers regarding the Fee.
In the search, Maggie Thurber recommended I contact Attorney Kurt Wicklund, as he may be interested in the case. He and the attorneys of the Law Firm, Ciolek & Wicklund, 520 Madison Avenue, Suite 820, Toledo, OH 43604, (419) 931-6431, Fax (866) 890-0419, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, initially agreed with my assessment but took the challenge to further research the issue to confirm whether the Fee is or is not legal.
As a result of this research, it was determined the fee is not legal and today, February 28, 2008, a complaint has been filed in Common Pleas Court on behalf of myself and property owners of Toledo against the City of Toledo. The complaint is in the list of "Links" on this page.