Jakobsson introduces bill to ease 'Carle effect'

SPRINGFIELD -- Legislation that would ease the so-called "Carle effect" on the city of Urbana and taxing districts in the city has been introduced in the Illinois House.

But sponsor Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, admitted Tuesday that the bill (HB 3634) has no chance of passage by the time the Legslature is scheduled to adjourn on Friday.

"Whether or not I can get it to move in the veto session, I don't know," Jakobsson said of the two-week period in the fall. "We know what the veto session is for, but sometimes bills do pass that weren't part of the veto process. This is something that is very important to the people of Urbana."

Champaign County taxing districts, particularly those in Urbana, have lost approximately $6 million in property tax revenue because of legislation approved last year that exempted hospitals from paying property taxes if the value of the charity care they provide exceeds their property tax bill.

Carle Foundation Hospital claims to have provided $32 million in charity and discounted medical care last year.

Jakobsson's bill says that the hospital exemption would not apply if a hospital's property is located in a city that would be disproportionatly impacted by the exemption and if the hospital's net income for the year is 8 percent or more of its revenue, if the exemption is not applied to the property.

"Disproportionate impact" is defined as when the city in which the hospital is located has a population of 10 percent or less of the total population served by the institution, and when the city provides services to 50 percent or more of the hospital's property.

The city of Urbana estimates it will lose about $830,000 a year from Carle's property tax bill; the Urbana school district will lose an estimated $3 million annually.

"The mayor reached out to me and I reached out to the school district," said Jakobsson. "I'm trying to get the word out to my colleagues about what this is doing to us.

"There are things that are good bills that have unintended consequences."

Jakobsson said she is not aware if there are other communities in the state as deeply impacted by the hospital property tax break as is Urbana. 

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787 wrote on May 29, 2013 at 8:05 am

So..... where were Jakobsson and Prussing when the original legislation was being debated and voted on?  Wasn't anyone at the City of Urbana paying attention to legislation that would have such an impact on the city?

Oh wait.  More concerned about a concrete path and an elaboorate bridge that leads to a closed business maybe?

prp wrote on May 29, 2013 at 9:05 am

The tax legislation was rolled into the Medicare legislation that passed last year, and pushed through Springfield pretty quickly.   It was over 1000 pages in length.   Jakobsen should have been aware of what she was voting on, though.