URBANA — The Carle Foundation has filed a new lawsuit against local taxing districts seeking property tax exemptions for 29 miscellaneous properties owned by the foundation.
The lawsuit was filed Friday in Champaign County Circuit Court.
An earlier 2007 Carle lawsuit challenging the revocation of property tax exemptions for five main hospital properties put on the tax rolls in 2004 remains ongoing, Carle says.
In its new lawsuit, Carle is seeking a determination that state and local tax authorities improperly revoked the Carle Foundations's tax exemptions on the 29 properties between 2007 and 2011. Carle is also seeking a charitable reinstatement for those properties and a refund on the taxes paid under protest.
Property taxes paid on these properties have totaled $3.5 million, Carle says.
"We know the property tax issues won’t be resolved overnight, but we strongly believe we must actively pursue our rights as a not-for-profit health care provider,” Carle spokeswoman Jennifer Hendricks said in an email. “Carle provides an incredible amount of charity care to local patients and to patients from across the region — and the need is growing. In exchange for providing that service and other community benefits, Carle is entitled to property tax exemptions under the law and we believe this is a fair trade-off.”
The 29 properties in the new lawsuit don't include former Carle Clinic physician office properties that were approved for an exemption on taxes payable this year.
Carle applied for tax exemptions for the 2012 tax year on many of its properties, and "now that there is clarity in the law about requirements for non-profit hospitals, Carle recently received from the Illinois Department of Revenue approval on a majority of these applications," Carle said in a written statement.
The newest suit was filed now because a statue of limitations applies, and Carle "wants to preserve its ability to protect the community's health care resources," according to Carle's statement.