The township’s legal advisor Gary Sheets says that action triggered a law that says townships must be compensated for 12 years for the money lost due to the boundary shift.
The Ohio Supreme Court last considered the case in November when the city asked for a dismissal, but now justices have denied that request and set a briefing schedule.
Hamilton claims the land in question was annexed prior to a 2002 law that provides compensation to townships. The city also told the court the township hasn’t presented any claims for which relief can be granted.
“The township alleges it has a right to lost tax revenues, yet it does not plead and has not presented a scintilla of evidence on what those revenues are, the properties from which the revenues derive or even the taxes that are to be applied,” Catherine Cunningham wrote for the city.
She went on to say the township has laid blame on Butler County auditors through the years “for not properly allocating and distributing inside millage over the past half century from territory where the township provided no services, had no electors and exercised no jurisdiction.”
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“The township implored the city to ‘recognize a moral obligation’ to St. Clair Township to make amends for the financial loss here inflicted on St. Clair Townshi,” Cunningham wrote. “Such an obligation is not a clear legal duty under any theory.”
Sheets said he is ready to take the case to the next step.
“We now look forward to convincing the Ohio Supreme Court that the Ohio Revised Code means what it says when it provides that should a municipal corporation decide to remove territory from a township and add it to the city limits, an obligation arises on the part of the municipal corporation to compensate the township for removing such township territory and adding it to the municipality,” Sheets said.
Neither Cunningham nor City Manager Joshua Smith responded to requests for comment on the court’s action.
The other townships that are also in this situation have not joined the court action.