As we wrote here, in November the Ohio First District Court of Appeals in White v. Cincinnati unanimously ruled in favor of clients of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law and Finney Law Firm in a challenge to the City of Cincinnati’s alarm tax scheme. The City of Cincinnati asked the Ohio Supreme Court to review that decision, a discretionary call by Court. Historically, Ohio’s top Court accepts only about 5% of such cases for consideration.
Today, the Ohio Supreme Court declined to accept for review the First District decision. Since that was the last stop on the railroad for the City, the inevitable next legal steps are injunction against further collection of the tax, class certification and an order of restitution before Common Pleas Court Judge Wende Cross.
Amazingly, even after the First District ruled that the tax was illegal, through today the City of Cincinnati insisted on continued collection of the tax. So, an injunction by the trial court now will be necessary.
If you are a Cincinnati alarm fee payor, you should be expecting a refund once the amount has been calculated and the procedural hurdles cleared, perhaps later this year. If the City continues to attempt to extract alarm charges from you, respectfully decline and send them this blog entry!