Section 955.14 | Increasing dog and kennel registration fees.
(A) Notwithstanding section 955.01 of the Revised Code, a board of county commissioners by resolution may increase dog and kennel registration fees in the county. The amount of the fees shall not exceed an amount that the board, in its discretion, estimates is needed to pay all expenses for the administration of this chapter and to pay claims allowed for animals injured or destroyed by dogs. Such a resolution shall be adopted not earlier than the first day of February and not later than the thirty-first day of August of any year and shall specify the registration period or periods to which the increased fees apply. An increase in fees adopted under this division shall be in the ratio of two dollars for each year of registration for a dog registration fee, twenty dollars for a permanent dog registration fee, and ten dollars for a kennel registration fee.
(B) Not later than the fifteenth day of October of each year, the board of county commissioners shall determine if there is sufficient money in the dog and kennel fund, after paying the expenses of administration incurred or estimated to be incurred for the remainder of the year, to pay the claims allowed for animals injured or destroyed by dogs. If the board determines there is not sufficient money in the dog and kennel fund to pay the claims allowed, the board shall provide by resolution that all claims remaining unpaid shall be paid from the general fund of the county. All money paid out of the general fund for those purposes may be replaced by the board from the dog and kennel fund at any time during the following year notwithstanding section 5705.14 of the Revised Code.
(C) Notwithstanding section 955.20 of the Revised Code, if dog and kennel registration fees in any county are increased above two dollars for each year of registration and twenty dollars for a permanent registration for a dog registration fee and ten dollars for a kennel registration fee under authority of division (A) of this section, then on or before the first day of March following each year in which the increased fees are in effect, the county auditor shall draw on the dog and kennel fund a warrant payable to the college of veterinary medicine of the Ohio state university in an amount equal to ten cents for each one-year dog registration, thirty cents for each three-year dog registration, one dollar for each permanent dog registration, and ten cents for each kennel registration fee received during the preceding year. The money received by the college of veterinary medicine of the Ohio state university under this division shall be applied for research and study of the diseases of dogs, particularly those transmittable to humans, and for research of other diseases of dogs that by their nature will provide results applicable to the prevention and treatment of both human and canine illness.
(D) The Ohio state university college of veterinary medicine shall be responsible to report annually to the general assembly the progress of the research and study authorized and funded by division (C) of this section. The report shall briefly describe the research projects undertaken and assess the value of each. The report shall account for funds received pursuant to division (C) of this section and for the funds expended attributable to each research project and for other necessary expenses in conjunction with the research authorized by division (C) of this section. The report shall be filed with the general assembly by the first day of May of each year.
(E) The county auditor may authorize agents to receive applications for registration of dogs and kennels and to issue certificates of registration and tags. If authorized agents are employed in a county, each applicant for a dog or kennel registration shall pay to the agent an administrative fee of seventy-five cents in addition to the registration fee. The administrative fee shall be the compensation of the agent. The county auditor shall establish rules for reporting and accounting by the agents. No administrative or similar fee shall be charged in any county except as authorized by this division or division (F) of this section.
(F) For any county that accepts the payment of dog and kennel registration fees by financial transaction devices in accordance with section 955.013 of the Revised Code, in addition to those registration fees, the county auditor shall collect for each registration paid by a financial transaction device one of the following:
(1) An administrative fee of seventy-five cents or another amount necessary to cover actual costs designated by the county auditor;
(2) If the board of county commissioners adopts a surcharge or convenience fee for making payments by a financial transaction device under division (E) of section 301.28 of the Revised Code, that surcharge or convenience fee;
(3) If the county auditor contracts with a third party to provide services to enable registration via the internet as provided in section 955.013 of the Revised Code, a surcharge or convenience fee as agreed to between that third party and the county for those internet registration services. Any additional expenses incurred by the county auditor that result from a contract with a third party as provided in this section and section 955.013 of the Revised Code and that are not covered by a surcharge or convenience fee shall be paid out of the allowance provided to the county auditor under section 955.20 of the Revised Code.
(G) The county auditor shall post conspicuously the amount of the administrative fee, surcharge, or convenience fee that is permissible under this section on the web page where the auditor accepts payments for registrations made under division (B)(1) of section 955.013 of the Revised Code. If any person chooses to pay by financial transaction device, the administrative fee, surcharge, or convenience fee shall be considered voluntary and is not refundable.
(H) As used in this section, "animal" has the same meaning as in section 955.51 of the Revised Code.