Carle to be refunded $6.2 million in property tax exemptions

By Julie Kang, Staff Writer

The Carle Foundation will receive a $6.2 million refund after Circuit Judge Randall Rosenbaum determined last Wednesday the foundation is entitled to property tax exemptions.

This long-standing litigation between the City of Urbana, Champaign County, Cunningham Township, the Illinois Department of Revenue and Carle “arose out of local officials’ taxation, beginning in 2004, of hospital properties that had been exempt for decades,” according to a press release from Carle. 

When a new state law, which further explained the property tax exemption requirements for not-for-profit hospitals, was introduced in 2012, it did not cancel the litigation regarding Carle’s exemptions before that year. 

Rosenbaum’s resolution, a result of a month-long bench trial and a 145-page decision, stated that Carle had fulfilled exemption requirements in the years from 2005 to 2011. Further, it is entitled to exemptions for 2020 and beyond. 

“The court’s ruling is so important for the patients and the community that we serve,” said James C. Leonard, MD, president and chief executive officer of The Carle Foundation. “Tax exemptions play a vital role in enabling not-for-profit hospitals to maximize investments in new and innovative facilities, technology and expertise required to provide the exceptional, leading-edge care that our patients expect and deserve.”

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    Carle leverages its property tax savings through charity care and other philanthropic activities that cost over four times the amount of tax Carle would pay without the tax exemptions. The exemptions allow for resources that contribute to providing free or discounted care for those who are unable to pay.

    The Champaign County Government, the City of Urbana, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Cunningham Township, the Forest Preserve District and Parkland College are responsible for the $6.2 million refunds. 

    In a statement from the Urbana Mayor Diane Wolfe Marlin, Marlin said that the city is “disappointed in the ruling.” However, she said this decision would affect neither the city’s current services and programs nor the city’s property tax rate. 

    While the city acknowledges the significant role Carle plays in the community, Marlin stated that Carle should “support the health of the community in which it is located by paying its fair share of costs for public safety, infrastructure, schools, parks and other core services. We believe that taxpayers should not bear the cost of medical charity care for a service region of 1.4 million people in one small city of 42,500 people.”

    [email protected]