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Chicago Tribune Breaking News: Gov. Quinn Lifts Moratorium on State Review of Hospital Property Taxes

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)
March 1, 2012

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Gov. Quinn lifts moratorium on state review of hospital property taxes

By Peter FrostTribune reporter11:40 AM CST, March 1, 2012

Stakeholders, including the Illinois Hospital Association, representatives from the governor's office, the state Department of Revenue and the state Attorney General's office, among others, have negotiated for several months in an attempt to draft consensus legislation that would more clearly define how much free care nonprofit hospitals much provide in order to qualify for the tax breaks.

The governor in October called for the meetings and imposed a moratorium on further decisions about hospitals' exemptions from property taxes.

The issue stems from an August ruling by the state Department of Revenue that denied property tax exemptions for three hospitals, contending they did not provide enough charity care to qualify. Those hospitals — Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Prentice Women's Hospital, Edward Hospital in Naperville and Decatur Memorial Hospital; disputed the assessment.

The Illinois Department of Revenue decisions came in the wake of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling in 2010 that said the department was justified in withdrawing Provena Covenant Medical Center's property-tax exemption in 2004. The court found the Urbana hospital's charity care was insufficient to justify the exemption. Download the full story