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Starpoint sues Town of Cambria over tax error

PENDLETON – The Starpoint Central School District has filed a lawsuit against the Town of Cambria, asserting that an error by the town assessor last year cost the school $47,666.

That’s the amount by which the 2013-14 property tax bill for Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. was reduced, after the town admitted that the company’s assessment was too high.

Documents attached to the lawsuit filed earlier this month in State Supreme Court show that Assessor Janelle L. Kroening admitted in September 2013 that she erroneously left out an air pollution exemption for the pipeline company, which would have lowered the valuation of its Cambria property from $18 million to $15.87 million.

The correction reduced Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s school tax bill from $399,373 to $351,707, but the alteration wasn’t made until after the tax bills had been mailed, so the school didn’t receive money it had been expecting. Starpoint’s lawsuit contends that the mistake was the town’s fault, so the town ought to pay the school the difference.