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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On Sept. 28, 1994, the city of Dallas passed an ordinance requiring commercial property owners to pay an annual “fire registration fee.” The amount of the fee varied with the square footage of the commercial property. After a wave of protests, the City repealed the ordinance the following year, but continued efforts to collect it for the year it had been in effect. Jim Lowenberg owned commercial property subject to the fee. In 1995 and 1996, the city demanded payment of the fee, but he refused. When the city issued a citation in April 1997 assessing a $2000 fine, he paid the $80 fee in return for the city’s dismissal of the citation. In July 1997, Lowenberg filed a class action in federal court alleging the fee was unconstitutional. The federal district court dismissed most of his claims for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction on Sept. 30, 1998, and he voluntarily dismissed the remainder thereafter. Lowenberg refiled his class action in the Dallas County District Court on Oct. 19, 1998. The state district court certified a class of all persons who paid the fee, or fines related to it. The district court later granted the class’s motion for summary judgment, finding the fee was an illegal occupation tax. The district court denied the city’s limitations defense, measuring accrual from the date Lowenberg paid the fee, which was within four months of his federal filing and 17 months of his state suit. The court of appeals reversed and rendered a take-nothing judgment against the class. The appellate court measured accrual from the date the city passed the fee ordinance, almost three years before Lowenberg first filed his class action in federal court. HOLDING:In Lubbock County v. Trammel’s Lubbock Bail Bonds, 80 S.W.3d 580, 584 (Tex. 2002), this court held that a suit for refund of bail bond fees assessed by a county without statutory authority was governed by the two-year statute of limitations applicable to suits for the taking of personal property. The court also stated an explicit rule for accrual in such cases: “[T]he cause of action accrues when payment to the county is made because that is when the injury occurs, not when the claim has been presented to and rejected by the commissioners court.” Lowenberg was not injured by enactment of the fee, as he made no claim that the regulation destroyed the value or use of his property. Instead, he was injured when he paid the fee. As he filed his action less than two years thereafter, it was not barred by limitations. OPINION:Per curiam.

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