Pronai, 070219 OHAGO, AGO 2019-22

Docket Nº:AGO 2019-22
Case Date:July 02, 2019
The Honorable Stephen J. Pronai
AGO 2019-22
No. 2019-022
Ohio Attorney General Opinions
Ohio Attorney General
July 2, 2019
         The Honorable Stephen J. Pronai          Madison County Prosecuting Attorney          59 North Main Street          London, Ohio 43140          SYLLABUS:          From and after the withdrawal of a member subdivision from a joint ambulance district established under R.C. 505.71, the district shall continue to levy and to collect within the area of that subdivision taxes previously imposed by the district under R.C. 5705.19(B) for the payment of debt charges on bonds, notes, and certificates of indebtedness incurred by the district during the membership of the withdrawing subdivision. In addition, the continuing taxing authority involves fixed charges incident to continuing contracts or leases which are included in the appropriation for the next year as is provided under R.C. 5705.41(D)(1), and such taxes as are necessary to pay off all such obligations. R.C. 505.71, however, imposes no further or additional continuing obligation upon the withdrawing subdivision to contribute any share or portion of the future operating expenses of the district, including charges for salaries and compensation, supplies, and utilities, or charges under continuing contracts or leases, with the exception of the portion of such continuing obligations which constitute “fixed charges” under R.C. 5705.44.          Dear Prosecutor Pronai:          You have requested our opinion about the responsibility a city which has withdrawn from a joint ambulance district formed under R.C. 505.71 may have, after such withdrawal, to pay a portion of the obligations of the district incurred prior to the city’s withdrawal. We presume that the Madison County Emergency Medical District is a joint ambulance district created under R.C. 505.71, as indicated in 2018 Op. Att’y Gen. No. 2018-026, at 2-233 n.2. You advise us that, in 2018, the City of London, then a member of the district, adopted a resolution effecting its withdrawal from the district. As is provided in R.C. 505.71, the city’s resolution of withdrawal, therefore, could not become effective earlier than January 1, 2019.          R.C. 505.71 authorizes townships and municipal corporations to “create a joint ambulance district comprising the municipal corporations and all or any portions of the townships as are mutually agreed upon.” R.C. 505.71. The section indicates further that “[t]o provide the services and equipment it considers necessary for the district, the board may levy taxes, subject to Chapter 5705 of the Revised Code, and issue bonds and other evidences of indebtedness, subject to Chapter 133 of the Revised Code, after submitting the question of such issuance to the electors of the district in the manner provided by Chapter 133.” The district is empowered to “purchase, lease, lease with an option to purchase, construct, maintain, and use all materials, equipment, vehicles, buildings, and land necessary to perform its duties.” R.C. 505.71.          A municipal corporation or township that has become a member of an R.C. 505.71 district, “may withdraw from … [the] district by the adoption of a resolution ordering withdrawal,” which is to become effective no earlier than “the first day of January of the year following the adoption of the resolution of...

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