The Illinois Supreme Court ruled last week to uphold a state law that exempts not-for-profit hospitals from paying property taxes.
In a unanimous decision, the high court tossed out an appellate court ruling in 2016 that determined a state law exempting not-for-profit hospitals from property taxes was unconstitutional. Instead, the seven justices said the appellate court didn't have the jurisdiction, returning the case back to the lower court. The case involves a not-for-profit hospital trying to recoup property tax dollars paid before a state law exempted not-for-profit hospitals from paying property taxes so long as the value of their charitable services was equal to or greater than their tax liabilities.
The roughly 150 not-for-profit hospitals in the state were hoping the high court would offer clarity on what the term “charity” in the constitution means, but the court didn't weigh in on that issue.