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Illinois Supreme Court Considering Whether Hospitals Should Pay Property Taxes

Scott Proctor
Flickr via Creative Commons

The Illinois Supreme Court considered a case Thursday that asks whether not-for-profit hospitals have to pay property taxes.

It involves Urbana-based Carle hospital and clinics,  though it could affect health systems across Illinois.

At issue is the constitutionality of a state law that exempts not-for-profit hospitals from paying property taxes. Laurel Prussing, the mayor of Urbana, said losing that tax money cost the city 11 percent of its tax base.

"What it did was shift Carle's burden to every other taxpayer in Urbana. Every other business, and all the residents," Prussing said.

The hospital says if it has to pay property taxes, it would mean that much less money to invest in its charitable activities.

There's no timeline for when the justices might rule on the case.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.