Mother Nature has never been shy about hammering Ohio with frigid temperatures and record-breaking snowfalls, which is why rock salt continues to be essential in our battle to keep the state’s roads and bridges free from ice. And if you thought your municipality was paying a premium to beef up its salt reserves in the past, you were probably right.
Get Your Money Back
Last month, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Ohio Turnpike Commission and local government entities may be entitled to get some of the money back that they spent on rock salt between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2011.
Morton Salt, Inc., and Cargill Inc., the only two companies that mine rock salt in Ohio for commercial sale, agreed to pay a settlement totaling $11.5 million, in an attempt to resolve allegations that the two companies divided rock salt between themselves in an attempt to drive up salt prices. While the companies continue to deny any wrongdoing, they did agree to pay back some of the funds that were charged to public entities across the state.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, all eligible public entities will receive a payment based upon their share of rock salt purchases.
How To Submit Your Claim
To submit a claim, you must complete the official online claim form or the official mail-in claim form no later than Aug. 7.
Your claim must include:
- Contact information for the public entity making the claim
- The details of your entity’s salt purchase for each season, including:
- The quantity (in tons)
- The cost per ton
- Total dollars spent
- Any additional information that may be relevant to your claim
- Certification that your claim is correct and that you are authorized to submit the form on behalf of your public entity.
While you do not need to submit invoices or other documentation with your claim, you will likely need this documentation to accurately complete your claim.
According to an official news release from the Ohio Attorney General, the antitrust lawsuit was brought against Morton and Cargill in Tuscarawas County on March 21, 2012, and alleged that the two companies agreed not to compete in an attempt to drive up the rock salt prices – a practice that persisted for nearly a decade, ending in 2010. As a result, ODOT, the Ohio Turnpike Commission and local government entities allegedly paid “above-market” prices for their rock salt supply, which is an essential resource that aids in their responsibility to keep all Ohioans safe by helping keep roadways, highways and bridges clear of ice.
“I believe that this settlement is a very positive result for the people of the state of Ohio. The millions that will be distributed to the state and to local governments would never have been returned to them if we had not filed this lawsuit and aggressively pursued this case,” said DeWine.
If you need help determining whether your public entity can claim a portion of this settlement or need help navigating the claims process, email Rea & Associates.
By Chad Welty, CPA (Medina office)