A recent ruling that states most of the Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare property is tax-exempt has prompted city staff to request a reversal of part of its 2012 levy, which was approved late last year.
The Finance, Council Affairs and Administrative Services Committee heard Monday that on Feb. 15 the state of llinois declared three-quarters of the new EMHC campus tax exempt.
The committee will ask the City Council March 5 to approve abatement $650,000 of its levy request, thereby preventing residents' property tax bills from showing an increase. The city actually approved a 1 percent decrease in the levy last year, with the wildcard being the hospital. The city is requesting a total of about $8.7 million in revenue from property taxes.
EMHC purchased taxable land on Brush Hill Road to expand and open its new hospital; it then had to appeal to the state to reclaim its tax exempt status.
For the past two years, taxing bodies like the city and Elmhurst Unit District 205, have had to estimate their property tax levies as if the hospital was on the tax rolls, then set the money aside in case it had to be rebated, with interest.
While March 1 was the cutoff date for taxing bodies to submit final levies to DuPage County, Finance Director Marilyn Gaston said the city has been assured by the county that it has a few days after the deadline to amend the levy.
The percentage of the new hospital campus declared tax exempt might change once the campus is fully built out, including the impending relocation of the Cancer Center/Cyberknife Center of Chicago to the south Elmhurst location. An office center on the site will remain on the tax rolls.
“I believe all of this is a moving target,” said 4th Ward Alderman Kevin York.
Committee members were told that before the construction of the 866,000-square-foot facility, 60 percent of the campus was exempt from taxes.
If the abatement is approved, the city also will have to reconcile EMHC's 2011 tax payment.
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