Johnstown officials say they will consider settling a potentially expensive tax battle with the city’s largest employer.

City Council members on Monday authorized their attorney to pursue a “negotiated settlement” with Memorial Medical Center.

The move could end a dispute over how much tax money the hospital should be paying to the city, Greater Johnstown School District and Cambria County.

But all parties involved would have to reach a monetary agreement.

“I won’t be satisfied unless it’s appropriate,” city Councilman Anthony “Red” Pinizzotto said.

The city and school district filed papers in September before the Cambria County Board of Assessment Appeals, claiming many of the nonprofit hospital’s properties should be taxable.

But Memorial administrators have argued that they already contribute a total of $400,000 in lieu of taxes to the city, school and county – without any legal obligation to do so.

Earlier this month, the assessment-appeals board ruled that Memorial should begin paying taxes on some parcels. The hospital immediately vowed to appeal.

An out-of-court resolution could reduce legal costs, but it is impossible to determine whether the three taxing bodies would reap any substantial financial benefit from such an agreement.

A hospital official could not immediately be reached for comment late Monday.

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