URBANA — Champaign County isn’t ready to walk away from a long-standing dispute with the Carle health system over property taxes.
The county and its board of review will appeal the Feb. 5 circuit court decision that restored seven years worth of charitable property-tax exemptions on four of Carle’s Urbana properties, among them Carle Foundation Hospital, according to county Assistant State’s Attorney Joel Fletcher.
The board of review and its members are some of the local and state taxing authorities named as defendants in the Carle lawsuit, which dates to 2007.
Others include the Illinois Department of Revenue and its director, the city of Urbana, Cunningham Township, township Assessor Wayne Williams, county Supervisor of Assessments Paula Bates and the Champaign County treasurer, an office that is currently vacant.
Williams said he also wants to seek an appeal.
Meanwhile, Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin said the city hasn’t yet decided on its next move.
The county board of review voted Friday in favor of pursuing an appeal, said Fletcher, who serves as the board’s attorney and has represented all named county defendants in the Carle lawsuit.
In the decision earlier this month, Champaign County Judge Randy Rosenbaum found Carle was entitled to partial charitable exemptions for tax years 2005-2011 on the four Urbana properties.
Rosenbaum also ordered the county treasurer to issue Carle a $6.2 million refund on property taxes paid for those years.
Based on that ruling, the board of review further voted to recommend to the state Department of Revenue that property tax exemptions sought by both Carle and OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center properties for tax year 2019 be approved, Fletcher said. Most of those properties are in Urbana.
That decision came a day after the board held a public hearing on the tax-exempt status of OSF Heart of Mary properties and less than two weeks after a board hearing on the tax exempt status of Carle properties, both for the 2019 tax year.
The board further decided to withdraw pending challenges before the Department of Revenue for tax year 2018 on OSF Heart of Mary properties and for Carle’s orthopedic and sports medicine facility, all pending further guidance from the Appellate Court on the Carle lawsuit.