Rul­ings on hos­pi­tal ex­emp­tions put on hold by Illi­nois gov­er­nor

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

Illi­nois Gov. Pa­trick Quinn asked the state’s rev­enue depart­ment to hold off on fu­ture rul­ings that would deny tax­ex­empt sta­tus to not-for-profit hos­pi­tals. Quinn’s move came in re­sponse to a let­ter from the Illi­nois Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion de­liv­ered soon af­ter state of­fi­cials de­nied prop­erty-tax ex­emp­tions for Pren­tice Women’s Hos­pi­tal, part of North­west­ern Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal in down­town Chicago; 320-bed Ed­ward Hos­pi­tal in Naperville; and 279-bed De­catur (Ill.) Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal. All three hos­pi­tals said they would chal­lenge the rul­ings. Of­fi­cials said as many as 15 hos­pi­tals faced such re­views. Quinn said in a let­ter to the IHA that the rev­enue depart­ment would work with the as­so­ci­a­tion to re-eval­u­ate the ba­sis for tax ex­emp­tions and present the find­ings on March 12, 2012. In the mean­time, no fi­nal rul­ings would be made on the three hos­pi­tals at is­sue last month. De­spite the re­prieve, of­fi­cials at Ed­ward Hos­pi­tal noted Quinn made no guar­an­tee their sta­tus was se­cure. Ed­ward spokesman Keith Harten­berger wrote in an e-mail that the hos­pi­tal would work with its peers to make sure “any new leg­is­la­tion would re­verse the ini­tial de­nials” and “pro­vide clear stan­dards for char­i­ta­ble tax ex­emp­tion.” A 2010 state Supreme Court rul­ing up­held the rev­enue depart­ment’s de­ci­sion to strip the ex­emp­tion from Provena Covenant Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Ur­bana, Ill. “We need to un­der­stand the nu­ances of the Supreme Court rul­ing and dis­cuss the op­tions as far as what the ap­pro­pri­ate cri­te­ria is for prop­erty-tax ex­emp­tions, and that takes some time,” IHA Pres­i­dent Mary­jane Wurth said in an in­ter­view.

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