URBANA — The former owner of OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center wants to move ahead on its 4-year-old legal dispute over property taxes.
County taxing authorities are seeking a delay in that lawsuit, originally filed in 2015, until after a decision is reached on a separate lawsuit concerning property taxes paid by Carle Foundation Hospital.
The Presence lawsuit had already been put on hold for two years at the behest of the county, according to a response filed Tuesday by Presence Central and Suburban Hospitals Network, which operated the Urbana hospital as Presence Covenant Medical Center before selling it to Peoria-based OSF HealthCare in 2018.
OSF HealthCare isn't a party to the Presence lawsuit, but is engaged in its own dispute with Champaign County over property taxes assessed for 2018 on Heart of Mary.
The Presence lawsuit is seeking a roughly $10 million refund on property taxes paid prior to 2012 on parcels used for the operation of the former Covenant.
A motion filed in May by the county state's attorney's office contended the Presence and Carle lawsuits have several complex legal issues in common.
The county defendants would like to have the benefit of Judge Randy Rosenbaum's reasoning on issues in the Carle case before deciding how to proceed in the Presence lawsuit, the county motion said.
The Presence lawsuit is being heard by Judge Jeffrey Ford, and Presence contends the county defendants have exaggerated the extent to which issues in that case overlap with issues in the Carle case.
Plus, the Presence reply states, any potential guidance to be gleaned from the resolution of the Carle litigation won't be available until all appeals have been exhausted, "most likely several years from now."
Meanwhile, oral arguments in the Carle Foundation property tax lawsuit that had been scheduled for today were canceled by Rosenbaum and won't be rescheduled unless he decides he needs further clarification after reviewing lengthy written closing arguments that have been filed.
Carle's lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Revenue, Champaign County, Urbana and Cunningham Township is seeking a multimillion-dollar refund of taxes Carle paid on four Urbana properties for tax years 2004 through 2011.