WBEZ | Illinois Department of Revenue http://www.wbez.org/tags/illinois-department-revenue Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Activists say property tax for hospitals sends message on accountability http://www.wbez.org/story/activists-say-property-tax-hospitals-sends-message-accountability-90717 <p><p>A coalition of activist groups in Illinois say they support the state's decision to deny tax exemptions for three non-profit hospitals.</p><p>The Illinois Department of Revenue ruled yesterday that Northwestern's Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago, Edward Hospital in Naperville and Decatur Memorial Hospital in Decatur weren't meeting charity care levels required for property tax exemptions</p><p>Hannah Gelder, spokeswoman for the Fair Care Coalition, said it's not that activists wants hospitals in Illinois to lose money, they want hospitals to be held accountable.<br> <br> "We don't have an opinion one way or another--we want to protect our hospitals so we believe it's okay for them to get property tax breaks, so long as they're acting as a charitable institution," Gelder said. "The problem we see in our communities is that many of the hospitals aren't actually pulling their weight in terms of providing free and reduced price care to people who are uninsured."<br> <br> All three hospitals have come out against the ruling. In a statement, Northwestern's Prentice Women's Hospital said it had been kept in the dark about the decision. "We disagree with the Department of Revenue's decision to deny Northwestern's Prentice Women Hospital its property tax exemption and do not know the criteria for the ruling.&nbsp; Given today's ruling, we will begin a process to review all of our options," it said.</p><p>For State Senator Iris Martinez, the ruling is evidence that lawmakers need to come together to provide legal means of accountability for non-profit hospitals. She's calling for a public hearing in hopes that government members and hospital representatives can come up with a solution.</p><p>Martinez introduced a bill early this year that would require all non-profit hospitals to give 3.5 percent of their revenue toward charity care. It has been in committee since March.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 17 Aug 2011 20:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/activists-say-property-tax-hospitals-sends-message-accountability-90717 Three Illinois hospitals may lose tax-exempt status http://www.wbez.org/story/three-illinois-hospitals-may-lose-tax-exempt-status-90677 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/848_20090330g_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois Department of Revenue announced Tuesday that three Illinois hospitals are in danger of losing their tax-exempt status. They are Northwestern Memorial's Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago, Edward Hospital in Naperville and Decatur Memorial Hospital in Decatur.</p><p>The department's ruling comes during an ongoing battle in Illinois over the tax-exempt status of hospitals. An Illinois Supreme Court case from 1968 established five criteria that hospitals have to meet to qualify as "charities."&nbsp;</p><p>Illinois Department of Revenue spokeswoman Susan Hofer says they are: "a charity may not have stock, capital or shareholders; a charity derives its funds mainly from private and public charities; a charity dispenses charity to all who need it and those who apply for it; a charity does not provide gain or profit in a private sense to any person connected with it; a charity places no obstacles in the way of those who need and would avail themselves of that charity."</p><p>If hospitals meet those criteria, the institutions become exempt from taxes on all their property, including everything from hospital rooms, to gift shops, to parking lots. Last year the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that downstate Provena Hospital didn't qualify, and therefore had to start paying property tax.</p><p>The Illinois Department of Revenue now uses the Provena ruling, alongside the 1968 criteria, as a kind of precedent to guide decisions on charity qualifications. The department doesn't have jurisdiction to investigate every hospital, however. Instead, it can only review hospitals that enter their administrative system when a parcel of a hospital changes ownership or changes use.</p><p>Mark Deaton, General Counsel of the Illinois Hospital Association, said decision makers are interpreting the court's definition of charity far too narrowly. He said if more hospitals lose their status and have to pay property taxes, it would be a serious blow to patients and the growing health care sector -- a sector he &nbsp;calls "one of the few bright spots in the Illinois economy."</p><p>Deaton said patient care could be compromised if more hospitals are forced to pay property taxes.&nbsp;</p><p>"[That] could push hospitals into having to cut back, slow down modernization, slow down hiring, slow down plans to expand services," he said.</p><p>The three hospitals being denied tax exempt status have 60 days to ask an administrative judge to review the decision. Illinois Department of Revenue spokeswoman Susan Hofer says her agency is reviewing the charity status of between ten and 15 additional hospitals.</p></p> Tue, 16 Aug 2011 21:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/three-illinois-hospitals-may-lose-tax-exempt-status-90677 New tax amnesty program targets online shoppers http://www.wbez.org/story/amnesty-program/new-tax-amnesty-program-targets-online-shoppers <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/online shopping.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->The Illinois General Assembly wants shoppers to know they are not exempt from paying Illinois sales tax when they shop online. Starting Jan. 1 a new amnesty program will allow customers to pay sales taxes on past online purchases without penalty.</p><div>Mike Clemons is a spokesman for the Department of Revenue. He said the program is one way to educate customers but it falls short of necessary reform.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;The only way to run an efficient and effective system is for a federal law change that says, &lsquo;Amazon.com and other internet online retailers: When you sell to a customer in Illinois you have to charge tax, collect it from the customer and send it to the Department of Revenue,&rdquo; he said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Clemons said those who take advantage of the amnesty will avoid penalties of 20 percent, plus interest on taxes owed. Research by the Illinois Department of Revenue shows losses of up to $150 million a year in revenue from internet commerce.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The amnesty program is part of a bill signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn. The amnesty applies to online purchases made between 2004 and 2010.</div></p> Mon, 13 Dec 2010 23:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/amnesty-program/new-tax-amnesty-program-targets-online-shoppers