For the second time in two days, the Illinois Department of Revenue has revoked the property tax exemption of an Illinois hospital, rescinding state property tax-exempt status for 65-bed Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney, Ill., a rural community hospital in southeastern Illinois, according to officials with the hospital and county.
The state revoked the exemption without a previous board action. We dont know the basis for them doing that, said Richland Memorial Chief Executive Officer Harvey Pettry, who said he received a form letter from the department Monday. Pettry said both the local assessor and the county board supported the hospitals tax-exempt status. Its a mystery to us, and were trying to understand why they did this.
Also Monday, the department upheld the revocation of tax-exempt status for not-for-profit 474-bed Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana by the Champaign County Board of Review. That same board previously recommended the revocation of the property tax exemption for 128-bed Provena Covenant Medical Center, also of Urbana, which was upheld by the state.
At deadline officials with the Illinois Department of Revenue could not be reached for comment.
Illinois Hospital Association President Ken Robbins said the state Department of Revenue has begun a trip down an extremely dangerous path. It has denied tax-exempt status now to three Illinois hospitals, and it is hard to know where this will end. If the department continues in this direction, it would bring Illinois hospitals to their knees as they try to meet the legitimate healthcare needs of their communities. I think this situation cries out for the governor and other constitutional officers to show leadership in preventing that kind of result. -- by Mark Taylor