Urbana Council Supports Resolution Against Carle Tax Exemption
by Sean Powers and Jeff Bossert
The Urbana City Council has unanimously approved a resolution denouncing Carle Foundation Hospital’s property tax exemption status.
A state law exempts not-for-profit hospitals from property taxes if their amount of charity care exceeds their tax bill.
Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing said that has led to Carle not having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes that could be going back to the city.
“We’re feeling it because we have to plan a budget for a year in advance, and we knew that we were going to lose over $400,000 when the state law was passed last year," she said. "But in addition to that, at the last minute, they filed some more property tax exemptions, and so we’re going to lose over $800,000. That’s Urbana alone.”
The resolution approved Monday states the loss to Champaign County taxing bodies, including those in Urbana, will total $6.3 million this year.
Prussing said Carle’s tax exempt status will force the city of Urbana to raise property taxes by 11 percent, making it harder for the community to grow.
State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson (D-Urbana) introduced legislation to lift the hospital tax exemption in communities “disproportionately impacted” by the loss of tax revenue.
A statement from Carle defends its charity care program, saying its economic impact in the community outweighs the property tax exemptions.
On Monday, Carle filed a lawsuit against local taxing bodies in connection to the revocation of property tax exemptions for 29 of its properties. This lawsuit is seperate from one in 2007 that challenges the revocation of exemptions for five main hospital properties.