The allocation to non-highway purposes of revenue derived from the application of Ohio’s commercial activity tax to gross receipts from the sale of motor vehicle fuel violates the Ohio Constitution.Beaver Excavating Co. v. Testa, Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-5776 (Ohio Supreme Court).

A regional council of governments, formed by cities and a township wishing to preserve the State’s estate tax as a source of local governmental funding, could use public funds to pay for lobbying efforts that had a primary purpose relevant to the individual members of the regional council of governments, even if those lobbying efforts might have an “extraterritorial ancillary effect.”Shaker Hts., ex rel. Cannon v. DeFranco, 2012-Ohio-3965 (Ohio App. 8th Dist.).

A board of county commissioners of a county that is a member of a regional council of governments (COG) has the authority to enter into a contract under section 167.03(C) of the Ohio Revised Code with a county land reutilization corporation, under which the COG will perform for the county land reutilization corporation specific administrative functions, provided that (1) the county is capable of performing the services furnished by the [COG] under the contract and (2) the services “are necessary or desirable for dealing with problems of mutual concern.” Additionally, a “board of county commissioners may enter into a contract under [section 167.08 of the Ohio Revised Code] with a regional council of governments for the purpose of authorizing the council to perform, on behalf of the county, administrative functions for the county land reutilization corporation.” However, “neither a county treasurer nor a county auditor may contract with a county land reutilization corporation to provide services to or employees to work for the corporation.” 2012 Op. Att’y General No. 2012-026.

Under various Ohio statutes, a “county may . . . enter into an agreement with a private company that conducts oil and gas drilling operations or operates a wind farm to have the company improve and repair the county roads it uses at no cost to the county.” A county that enters into such a contract is not required to comply with the sections of the Ohio Revised Code requiring review of the contract by the county prosecutor, professional design services, and competitive bidding of purchases of goods or services. The county, however, must comply with the section of the Ohio Revised Code relating to payment of prevailing wages, when the total project cost to the company is “fairly estimated” to exceed the amount prescribed by Section 4115.03(B)(4) of the Ohio Revised Code.2012 Op. Att’y General No. 2012-029.

Chapter 307 of the Ohio Revised Code, which contains the powers and duties of a board of county commissioners, does not give a board of county commissioners the authority to grant a property tax exemption to a private business locating on property owned by the county and leased to the private business. 2012 Op. Att’y General No. 2012-030.

Under Sections 307.87(B) and 307.88(A) of the Ohio Revised Code, a “county contracting authority may receive bids and bid guaranties for a contract pertaining to a public improvement described in R.C. 307.862(G) through an electronic bidding system, provided that (1) bidders and the county contracting authority comply with the [chapters of the Ohio Revised Code governing electronic records, filings and signatures]; (2) bid guaranties are filed in the form of a bond or letter of credit; and (3) the county contracting authority permits a person to access the bidding information . . . other than through the electronic bidding system and file a bid and bid guaranty in paper form.”2012 Op. Att’y General No. 2012-031.

A county auditor that “collects fees from the revenues generated by the county general levy for current expenses within the 10-mill limitation . . . may not collect fees from the portion of the county general levy for current expenses that is appropriated by the board of county commissioners to the veteran services commission.”2012 Op. Att’y General No. 2012-035.