State Challenges Hospitals’ Tax Break
(Chicago News Cooperative) — Facing a budget deficit exceeding $11 billion, the State of Illinois in recent weeks has begun challenging the property tax exemptions of some of its best-known hospitals, saying they should pay more because they are not providing enough charity care. The Illinois Department of Revenue moved last month to strip property tax exemptions from Prentice Women’s Hospital, a sparkling new medical center in Chicago’s tony Streeterville neighborhood; Edward Hospital, a rapidly expanding medical center in the western suburb of Naperville, and Decatur Memorial Hospital in central Illinois. If successful with those three, the state is expected to look for other not-for-profit hospitals with low percentages of charity care, with an eye toward challenging their property tax exemptions, too. A Department of Revenue spokesman said the agency was reviewing parcels owned by 15 hospital systems, but declined to say if the tax exemptions would be challenged in each case.