Ohio Supreme Court denies DACC motion regarding levy


By Glenn Battishill - gbattishill@delgazette.com



The Ohio Supreme Court Friday denied the Delaware Area Career Center’s motion to reconsider its recent decision to deny the DACC funds from a levy passed in 2015.

The motion for reconsideration was filed with the court on March 20 and was a response to a March 8 decision by the Ohio Supreme Court when they ruled against the DACC in an ongoing legal dispute between the DACC and the Ohio Department of Taxation after tax bills were not to sent to property owners at the start of this year.

The case centered around the DACC’s 2015 renewal levy.

The levy was passed by 10,644 votes in November 2015, and would have begun collecting taxes from voters at the start of this year. However, DACC officials learned in December that the Ohio Department of Taxation would not be collecting the tax bills for the levy because 1,026 voters who live in Franklin, Marion, Morrow and Union counties were not able to vote on the levy when it was on the ballot in 2015.

The Delaware County Board of Elections has taken responsibility for not placing the levy on the ballot in those four counties.

The Career Center filed a Writ of Mandamus with the Ohio Supreme Court on Jan. 17, asking them to intercede after the Department of Taxation refused to collect money for the levy because the 1,026 qualified voters in neighboring counties did not vote on the levy.

On March 8, the Supreme Court ruled 4-3 to deny the Career Center’s request, and said the tax commissioner could not be compelled to calculate tax rates for the five counties, because the board of elections had not certified results from all five counties.

The motion to reconsider, filed on March 20 by the DACC, argued that the Supreme Court’s decision has far reaching implications and gives the Ohio Department of Taxation too much authority and essentially granted the tax commissioner unwarranted authority to deny any election outcome.

On April 7, the Supreme Court ruled 4-3 to deny the motion to reconsider.

In both rulings, Justices Terrence O’Donnell, Sharon L. Kennedy, William M. O’Neill and R. Patrick DeWine ruled against the Career Center.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Judith M. French and Patrick F. Fischer dissented and sided with the Career Center in both rulings.

Freeman said in January the lack of tax dollars will affect the ongoing consolidation project. Freeman said the contractors will be finishing the walls, floors, roof and siding for the new wing of the consolidated campus, but will not be breaking down any walls at the south campus so the structure does not become compromised.

“We are already committed to certain pieces of this process,” Freeman said after the court ruled against them.

“But we will be taking steps to protect our investment. Our focus has been and always will be remaining fiscally responsible with tax dollars and quality education for our students. Quality instruction is our number one priority.”

By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@delgazette.com

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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