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“It is plain that under the current (law), a city is required to pay a township for tax revenue lost as a result of that city’s annexation and exclusion of township territory,” the decision added. “St. Clair has not shown with certainty the amount of lost tax revenue St. Clair Township is owed.”
The township trustees hired attorneys Curt Hartman and Chris Finney. They filed a new lawsuit on Monday. Hartman said the General Assembly intended for townships to be compensated when municipalities annex their land, and it was relatively easy to figure out how much Hamilton allegedly owes.
“Over the course of 12 years you’re looking to obtain close to $4 million,” Hartman said. “Which is significant for St. Clair Twp. When you look at it, the general assembly understood this type of situation where townships would be hurt financially because of these annexations and detachments, and this is exactly what the law has provided for.”
Hamilton Director of Law Letitia Block said the city has no comment on the latest lawsuit.
Trustee Board President John Snyder said officials have tried several times to discuss a settlement with the city. The township just pulled itself out of a state-declared fiscal emergency, which it said was caused in part by the lost tax revenue.
“We’ve been strapped for cash and we went through all of that these last few years, when we should have been getting more tax revenue than we had,” Snyder told the Journal-News.
He said they have “tightened their belts,” but the lost revenue is still critical.
“We’re on the right track, so we’ve got things to do and this will provide that for us, as far as paving roads and doing the things we need to be doing for the residents of St. Clair Twp,” Snyder said.