Covenant due $1.2 million property tax refund for 2010

URBANA — Champaign County taxpayers owe Presence Covenant Medical Center a refund for yet another tax year.

Already paid refunds for tax years 2004 and 2006 this year, the hospital is now in line for a refund for tax year 2010.

The Illinois Department of Revenue says Covenant qualified for the 2010 refund under Illinois' new 2012 state law, which more broadly defines what hospitals must contribute to their communities to qualify for a charitable tax break.

In addition to counting the free care they provide, hospitals can now count shortfalls in Medicaid coverage for their patients and a handful of other contributions.

Covenant reported $5.2 million in charity care and other qualifying activities versus $1.2 million in estimated taxes, the Department of Revenue said.

Champaign County Treasurer Dan Welch said he received the paperwork on Covenant's 2010 exemption on July 23, and has 60 days to refund $1,226,000 to the hospital.

He'll be waiting on the city of Urbana to turn over the money, because 97 percent of it, or $1,185,000, was paid into a city tax increment financing district, he said. The other 3 percent went to other taxing districts in the county, Welch said.

Exemptions approved for Covenant for tax years 2004 and 2006 resulted in a refund of about $2.4 million from both years, nearly all of which also came from the Urbana TIF fund.

Covenant was denied a tax exemption by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2010 in a ruling that was based on a single tax year, 2002, but the hospital continued seeking charitable exemptions for some other years.

Hospital officials couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

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jdmac44 wrote on August 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Hmm, isn't that nice?  The *STATE* passes a law to help a local business who weren't paid *STATE* Medicaid funds by reimbursing them with *LOCAL* tax money.  If you thought there wasn't possibly another way the State of Illinois couldn't screw you, ladies and gentlemen, you were wrong!