However, when Ciolek sought class-action status for the 'fee,' the city claimed that class-action wasn't applicable because the charge is a 'tax.'
The trial court has ruled that the suit does not qualify for class-action status and Ciolek has appealed that ruling to the Court of Appeals. The trial court will await a ruling on the the appeal of this point before going any further.
In the meantime, and to protect the rights individual property owners regarding the charge, he is suggesting that all who object to the tax include a notice of such objection with their water bill (or sent to the water department if you pay on-line).
If you'd like to record your objection with Ciolek, you can send your contact information and the date of your objection letter to him: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the recommended language:
Pursuant to the Ohio Revised Sec. 2723.03, I hereby notify the City of Toledo that I am paying the 'refuse fee' under protest. Whether construed as a 'tax,' 'fee,' or 'assessment,' the 'refuse fee' is unlawful for the following reasons:
1. The 'refuse fee' essentially functions as a property tax; and
2. The Ohio Constitution requires a referendum before such an assessment may be levied.
For the reasons stated above, I intend to sue under Revised Code Sec. 2723.01-2723.05 for the purpose of recovering this unlawful appropriation in its entirety.
If you pay online, you can send your letter to:
Department of Public Utilities
420 Madison Ave. Suite 100
Toledo, OH 43667-0001
City of Toledo
1 Government Center, Suite 2200
Toledo, OH 43604