From AP - News Headlines -

Carle Merger May Yield Agreements on Property Taxes for Local Governments

The newly-combined Carle Foundation Hospital and former Carle Clinic may have a deal with local governments over property taxes.

Up to now, Carle Clinic Association had been an independent for-profit firm. But now that it's been bought out by the Carle Foundation, it's got not-for-profit status under the name Carle Physician Group. That means it's no longer liable for property taxes at its clinic buildings - and that could cost government entities in Champaign County at least $2.4 million a year.

When the merger was announced last November, Carle CEO Dr. James Leonard was quoted as saying Carle would make payments to those government in lieu of taxes. Thursday, he said they're getting close to an agreement.

"We're not done with the discussions yet," Leonard said. "In terms of of their needs, they're very concerned -- particularly with the recession we've been in -- about the resources going forward. It's been an active, positive discussion."

Leonard wouldn't say when a final agreement on tax payments would come out. Meanwhile, he says the Carle Foundation would continue to challenge the state's decision to strip it of its tax-exempt status for some hospital properties. The hospital has put money into an escrow account as the case is still being challenged in court.