Illinois Hospital Appeals Tax Exemption Case To State Supreme Court
The not-for-profit Provena Covenant Medical Center on Tuesday said that it will take its case to the Illinois Supreme Court after a three-judge 4th District Appellate Court panel ruled in August that the hospital's charity work was not enough to justify a tax exemption, the Chicago Tribune reports. The panel reversed a lower court's decision and sided with Brian Hamer, director of the Illinois Department of Revenue, who ruled in 2006 that Provena Covenant did not merit a tax exemption. Hamer said that in 2002 the hospital's charity care accounted for less than 1% of its revenue.
Jon Sokolski, chair of Provena's board of directors, said, "The appellate court opinion runs counter to the law, facts and evidence of our case, but also unfairly impugns the proud history of charitable and religious mission service by Provena Covenant Medical Center." He added that the ruling affects "the very ability of our hospital to continue caring for all regardless of their ability to pay." Provena said its petition to "leave to appeal" will be filed by the end of September.
According to the Tribune, "The case is being watched nationally at a time [when] state and federal lawmakers are attacking nonprofit hospital tax exemptions, questioning whether such health facilities are providing enough charity care" (Japsen, Chicago Tribune, 9/9).
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