News Local/State

Carle Sues to Exempt 29 Properties


The Carle Foundation has filed another lawsuit regarding tax exemptions.

The suit filed in Champaign County Circuit Court on Friday claims local taxing bodies improperly revoked the Carle Foundation’s tax exemptions for 29 miscellaneous properties put on the tax rolls in 2007.

Those properties do not include former Carle Clinic physician office properties that were recently approved for exemption in 2013.  

This lawsuit is separate from one dealing with five properties that were put on the tax rolls in 2004.

Carle spokeswoman Jennifer Hendricks said this new lawsuit involved all other Carle Foundation properties for all of the tax years until 2012, put on the tax rolls over the course of time.  

According to a statement, the suit seeks to "preserve Carle’s ability to protect the community’s health care resources."

Meanwhile, two low-income Illinois women have filed a lawsuit claiming a new definition of charity care for tax-exempt hospitals violates the state constitution.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago.

Plaintiffs Aracely Sebastian and Maria Maldonado want the court to declare a law passed last year unconstitutional.

Their attorney, Caroline Chapman, said changes made to the state revenue code unconstitutionally broadened the definition of what hospitals need to do to qualify for lucrative tax exemptions.

The Illinois Department of Revenue and its director are named as defendants in the lawsuit. Department spokeswoman Susan Hofer said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

Illinois Hospital Association spokesman Danny Chun said last year's law was "carefully drafted'' to keep the constitution in mind.