Concordia nets $22,148.81 in settlement
posted Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 @ 12:46 pm
Concordia Parish taxing bodies will net $22,148.81 of a $68.8 million statewide settlement between three natural gas pipeline companies and 52 Louisiana assessors over property taxes.
Neighboring parishes Catahoula, Franklin and Tensas will also benefit from the settlement.
A lawsuit was filed by the parishes against defendants ANR Pipeline, Southern Natural Gas Company and Tennessee Gas Pipeline in January 2000.
Baton Rouge attorney Brian Eddington, who represented the parishes, said the pipeline companies challenged the method in which property was valued for property tax purposes, claiming that they were being overcharged. The tax bills were paid under protest and held in escrow until settlement.
Eddington said that Texas-based energy company Kinder Morgan, which recently acquired the three pipeline companies, sought settlement of the suit.
"We had a handshake deal six weeks ago and the judgment was signed this morning," Eddington said Monday.
While Concordia's settlement amount was $22,870.44, a total of three percent -- $721.63 -- will be refunded to ANR, the only pipeline company in the parish involved in the litigation. Eddington said that the three percent represented the cost of the settlement.
Franklin Parish will net $873,875.25; Catahoula, $200,835.08 and Tensas, $10,904.81.
LaSalle Parish will net one of the largest settlements statewide -- $3,507,326.50.
Cameron Parish finished at the top, netting $7.9 million.
Eddington said former assessors Carmon Walker of Catahoula Parish, Jimmy Dean of LaSalle and Mike Wooden of Morehouse were responsible for "deciding that we should stand up against the pipeline companies."
Many parishes will be paid by the end of the month, all by the end of December, Eddington said.