Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

American Landfill, Inc. v. Stark/Tuscarawas/Wayne Joint Solid Waste Management Dist.

Citation: 29 ELR 20500
No. 97-4222, 166 F.3d 835/(6th Cir., 01/28/1999)

The court holds that assessments for solid waste disposal charged by a waste management district in Ohio are taxes under the Tax Injunction Act and are, therefore, constitutional. The assessments for waste generated in-district and out-of-state are the same, while the assessments for waste generated in-state but out-of-district are higher than the in-district rate. A landfill filed suit against the district for re-imbursement of monies paid under a repealed version of the disposal statute for the disposal of out-of-state wastes that were in excess of the in-district rate. The court first holds that the assessments are taxes. The assessments are placed in a fund that serves public purposes benefitting the entire community. The revenue's ultimate use as a benefit shared by the public and not just the waste disposal facilities indicates that the assessment here is a tax. Moreover, the permitting fee is separate from the waste disposal fees, and the waste district is not the permitting agency. Further, the disposal fees are additional charges on previously permitted facilities, and the facilities receive no benefit from the disposal fee different from that enjoyed by the general public in the district. In addition, the court rejects the argument that a reimbursement suit for taxes paid under a repealed portion of the district's waste disposal statute should be allowed to proceed. The idea that a federal court ordering reimbursement of revenue raised under a repealed statute is any less invasive of a state's fiscal affairs than an order of reimbursement of revenue under current statute is illogical.

Counsel for Plaintiff
David C. Weiner
Hahn, Loeser & Parks
3300 BP Tower
200 Public Sq., Cleveland OH 44114
(216) 621-0150

Counsel for Defendant
Stephen M. O'Bryan
Kelley, McCann & Livingstone
3500 BP Tower
200 Public Sq., Cleveland OH 44114
(216) 241-3141

Before Boggs and Suhrheinrich, JJ.