Jackson Landlord Plans to Sue City Over Fee Ordinance

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

Robert Tulloch has owned property in Jackson since 1987.

He says he's never had any problems with the city, until last year, but in February of 2012, Jackson passed an ordinance forcing landlords to pay a $30 registration fee every other year for each property they own, adding an additional $10 per unit.

Tulloch says the ordinance also made costly inspections, which occurred every three to five years, more frequent.

"They changed it. They're going to inspect every two years and they boosted it to $175 per unit," said Tulloch, who is the President of the Jackson Area Landlords Association.

Claiming the fees weren't legal, Tulloch filed a petition to have the ordinance repealed. After a provision in the city charter stalled it, he filed a lawsuit against the city to have the provision removed.

That led to a second petition, which was turned in at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

"the City Clerk verified 379," said Tulloch. "The requirement is 354, so we met that requirement."

But the council denied it 6-1, after the clerk said the petition should've been filed within 30 days of the ordinance. Now, Tulloch is preparing a lawsuit.

"They can either sit down with us, talk to us and resolve these issues, or we'll end up back in court," said Tulloch.

Jackson Mayor Martin Griffin says Tulloch has it all wrong.

"You have to propose the legislation or the law that you want to take effect," he said. "He didn't do that. He just wanted to repeal, which is not what his petition form is used for."

The mayor also claims Tulloch has several ordinances and resolutions mixed up.

"If he's going to sue us, it will not withhold. It will not stand up in court," said Mayor Griffin.

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