130th Ohio General Assembly
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(122nd General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 244)



AN ACT
To enact sections 319.281 and 3709.091 of the Revised Code to require, in the absence of the landowner's objection, that the county auditor place as a lien on real property any unpaid household sewage disposal system operation permit or inspection fee that is certified to the auditor by a health district, and to authorize the county prosecutor to commence civil action to obtain such unpaid fee.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1 .  That sections 319.281 and 3709.091 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 319.281.  The county auditor shall place on the general tax list and duplicate compiled in accordance with section 319.28 of the Revised Code the amount certified by the health commissioner of a city or general health district pursuant to section 3709.091 Of the Revised Code of any unpaid operation permit or inspection fee for a household sewage disposal system and any accrued late payment penalties, together with any fee charged by the county auditor for placing the amount on the general tax list and duplicate and for the expenses of its collection. The amount placed on the general tax list and duplicate shall be a lien on the real property on which the household sewage disposal system is located from the date the amount was placed on the tax list and duplicate, and shall be charged and collected in the same manner as taxes on the list.

Sec. 3709.091.  (A) As used in this section:

(1) "Household sewage disposal system" means any sewage disposal or treatment system, or part thereof, for a single-family, two-family, or three-family dwelling that receives sewage.

(2) "Sewage" means any liquid waste containing animal or vegetable matter in suspension or solution from water closets, urinals, lavatories, bathtubs, laundry tubs or devices, floor drains, drinking fountains, or other sanitary fixtures, and may include liquid containing chemicals in solution.

(B) If any owner, leaseholder, or assignee of real property fails to pay a fee as required by rule of a board of health of a city or general health district pursuant to section 3709.09 of the Revised Code for an operation permit for, or for inspection of, a household sewage disposal system located on the real property, the health commissioner of the city or general health district or the commissioner's designated representative shall notify the owner, leaseholder, or assignee of the real property of the amount of the fee and any accrued penalties for late payment of the fee. The notice shall state, in boldface letters: "You have 30 days to object to the amount of the unpaid operation permit or inspection fee for your household sewage disposal system as designated in this notice, which may include accrued penalties for late payment of the fee. If you do not pay this amount as instructed herein within 30 days of receipt of this notice or object to this amount during that time period in accordance with the procedures set forth herein, the amount will be placed as a lien on your real property." The notice also shall explain how the owner, leaseholder, or assignee may pay the amount, or object to the amount in accordance with the procedures established by divisions (C) and (D) of this section.

Notice to the owner, leaseholder, or assignee shall be made by either of the following:

(1) Certified mail, overnight delivery service, hand delivery, or any other method that includes written evidence of receipt;

(2) The sheriff of the county in which the owner, leaseholder, or assignee to be served resides, in one or more of the methods provided in the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure. The sheriff may charge reasonable fees for such service.

(C) Not later than thirty days after receipt under division (B) of this section of notification of the amount of an unpaid operation permit or inspection fee and any accrued late payment penalties, the owner, leaseholder, or assignee may object to the amount by delivering a written notice of objection to the health commissioner by any of the means provided for in division (B)(1) of this section. Not later than sixty days after receipt of the notice of objection, the county prosecutor, on behalf of the city or general health district, may file a civil action in the court of common pleas against the owner, leaseholder, or assignee. If the county prosecutor fails to commence suit within the sixty-day period, or if the action is commenced but dismissed with prejudice before adjudication, the unpaid fee and any accrued late payment penalties are void and cannot be placed on the general tax list and duplicate as a lien against the real property.

(D) If, in accordance with division (C) of this section, the owner, leaseholder, or assignee objects to the amount of the unpaid operation permit or inspection fee and any accrued late payment penalties and the county prosecutor commences suit and prevails in the action, the owner, leaseholder, or assignee objecting shall pay the amount of the fee, any accrued late payment penalties, and the costs of the action, as determined by the court.

(E) If the owner, leaseholder, or assignee on which the notice required by division (B) of this section was served does not pay to the city or general health district the amount of an unpaid operation permit or inspection fee and any accrued late payment penalties within thirty days after receipt of the notice, or does not object to the amount in the manner provided in division (C) of this section, the health commissioner of the city or general health district or the commissioner's designated representative may certify, on or before the first Monday of September, the amount of the unpaid fee and any accrued late payment penalties to the county auditor to be placed on the general tax list and duplicate as provided in section 319.281 of the Revised Code.

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