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Hospital Property Tax Exemptions

I believe hospitals should pay property taxes to help keep their host communities healthy.  As an Alderwoman, I voted in support of the lawsuit to determine the constitutionality of the 2012 tax exemption law.  On March 23, 2017, the Illinois Supreme Court  declined to rule on the constitutionality of the 2012 state law granting property tax exemptions for hospital charity care and sent the case back to the trial court in Champaign County for further clarification.  The Illinois Supreme Court  ruling cancelled an earlier Appellate Court's decision that the state law was unconstitutional.  

 If the Illinois General Assembly is determined to give tax exemptions for  hospital charity care (and Springfield is where our efforts should be focused), legislators should draft a new version of the law.  The 2012 law was poorly written in that it didn't take into account the devastating financial impact on cities like Urbana-- a small city with two regional medical centers--and it was fundamentally unfair in that taxpayers in the host community are footing the bill for charity care for an entire region.  According to experts in the field, it will not be difficult to write language that more fairly distributes the cost of charity care across the region served.  There are any number of ways to draft a better law if the General Assembly is determined to give the exemptions.   

It is also important to note that the most prestigious tax-exempt medical centers in the country provide charity care AND make payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTS) to their home communities.   These institutions know that it's important to support schools, parks, public services and infrastructure.  


I will fight for fairness for Urbana taxpayers. Our elected representatives need to fight for us, too in Springfield.    And here is another thing to keep in mind:  One of the reasons Urbana was so vulnerable to the tax exemption issue is that almost 30% of our land area is property-tax exempt.   We have relied far too long on residential property taxes without a large enough business base.   We need to grow.  

In the meantime, the tax issue should not drive the entire relationship with Carle Hospital, which is Urbana's second largest employer.   Urbana residents work at Carle and receive medical care there.   Urbana needs to be at the planning table with the U of I and Carle for the Carle/Illinois Medical College and Urbana needs to be doing  a lot more to keep the 6500 people who come to the Carle campus IN URBANA to shop, eat, sleep, live,  and run errands.  If city leadership continues to carry on a public battle against Carle, this won't happen.  And this is hurting us.   



Paid for by Citizens for Marlin.  A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be available) on the Board's official website (www.elecitons.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, IL
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