Vote set on intervening in Carle's tax lawsuit

Vote set on intervening in Carle's tax lawsuit

URBANA — City officials are looking to intervene in a pending Carle Foundation Hospital lawsuit that asks for $5 million in refunds related to property taxes it paid on 29 parcels between 2007 and 2011.

The issue will come before the Urbana City Council at 7 p.m. today (Monday, July 15) in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St., where council members could vote to have Cunningham Township Attorney Fred Grosser step in to the pending lawsuit on the city's behalf.

Carle filed its petition May 31 in what is essentially a follow-up on the $6.3 million in property taxes that the Illinois Department of Revenue determined it would not have to pay this year.

When Carle filed its petition, it did not name the city of Urbana or the other taxing districts as respondents, according to a city memo. City officials will need to step in if they want to fight Carle's move, and city council members would have to approve that step today.

A state law passed last year made Illinois health centers exempt from property taxes if they can show their "charity care" exceeds their tax payments. Champaign County taxing bodies expect to lose more than $6.3 million in Carle property-tax revenue this year from that exemption; Urbana taxing bodies alone expect to eat nearly $4.6 million of that.

City officials have said the rest of the area's taxpayers will have to cover that gap.

Carle contends that the property-tax exemptions are necessary to "preserve its ability to protect the community's health care resources."

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