Judge dismisses fire district tax revenue dispute lawsuit

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  On Monday, Allen Superior Court Judge Craig J. Bobay granted the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the City of Fort Wayne against the Southwest Fire District and Allen County Auditor Tera K. Klutz regarding the collection of tax revenue in an area of Allen County that had been annexed.

Fort Wayne had claimed Klutz had mistakenly continued to distribute tax revenue to the Southwest Fire District in Aboite Township after the Fort Wayne Fire Department had taken over fire protection in an annexed area formerly served by the Southwest Fire District.  The City believed that tax revenue should have gone to the Fort Wayne Fire Department.  No amount of money was specified in the City’s lawsuit, however it claims there has been suffering and continues to be suffering of a significant loss of revenue as a result of Klutz’s mistake.

Among her arguments for dismissal, Klutz maintained the case fell under the jurisdiction of the Indiana Tax Court, not Allen Superior Court, because it dealt with taxes. The City disagreed, claiming the case has to do with annexation law, not tax law.

After taking the case under advisement on October 31, Judge Bobay on Tuesday issued a ruling that Allen Superior Court lacks jurisdiction over the case, so he granted the dismissal requests by Klutz and the Southwest Allen County Fire District.