Some of the 35 not-for-profit New Jersey hospitals challenging property-tax claims against them have settled rather than participate in long legal and legislative battles shaping up over the controversial taxes.
Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, N.J. has come to terms with the city to pay $250,000 per year from 2016 to 2019. Another hospital, JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J., has agreed with the town to maintain its tax-exempt status, but will pay Edison a community service fee of $500,000 in 2016 and 2017.
In June 2015, a New Jersey tax judge ruled that Morristown Medical Center operated like a for-profit entity and should be treated as such for property-tax purposes.
The New Jersey Hospital Association would like to see the issue addressed in legislation rather than in piecemeal, costly and divisive lawsuits, said association spokeswoman Kerry McKean Kelly.
Legislation passed earlier this year called on hospitals to pay their municipalities a $2.50 per bed per day fee to recognize municipal services to the hospitals, McKean Kelly said. But Gov. Chris Christie didn't sign the legislation.