Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



County to hospitals: What are you worth?

Thursday, August 17, 2006
Daily Southtown
by Gregg Sherrard Blesch

Nonprofit hospitals don't pay property taxes, but the Cook County assessor's office is wondering, "What if?"

Before October, an inspector will visit every tax-exempt hospital in the county and gather information needed to estimate the value of their land and buildings.

The effort is intended to illuminate a long, ugly debate over the public good that hospitals provide and whether they deserve their tax breaks.

In a letter dated June 26, the assessor's office tells hospitals to expect or arrange a visit from an inspector before October.

"This information will be used to produce (an) estimate of value for these properties and the resulting potential tax impact," the letter reads.

The calculations, according to a spokesman, are in preparation for a ruling on an Urbana hospital's tax-exempt status, which the Illinois Department of Revenue yanked in 2004.

The assessor is looking for guidance in the decision on Provena Covenant Medical Center, spokesman Lucio Guerrero said. Depending on the outcome, the county could ask hospitals to reapply for their tax breaks.

"We just want to have the numbers in front of us," Guerrero said.

In May the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability attempted to estimate the value of exemptions Cook County hospitals receive — including all forms of taxes. Its report concluded that the tax breaks dwarf what's given back in free and discounted care for the poor.

The study, billed as independent and completed in cooperation with a Harvard University professor, was commissioned and paid for by the Service Employees International Union.

The hospitals say attacks on their commitment to what's known as "charity care" is driven by unions who want to embarrass hospitals in their bid to organize thousands of workers in the Advocate and Resurrection health networks.

"I think it's a natural consequence of the agitation that comes from organized labor," said Dr. Lawrence Haspel, senior vice president of the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council.

Tom Senesac, regional CFO for the parent company of St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields, said the assessor's effort could provide useful information.

"We would hopefully be able to do away with the argument that the numbers are incorrect or correct," Senesac said. "The debate will continue as to what components constitute community benefit."

The unpaid costs of caring for Medicaid patients and unprofitable services such as trauma centers, for example, aren't reflected in what the critics construe as charity, hospital executives are quick to argue.

"What hospitals are providing to their communities ... if you look at it in a meaningful way, far exceeds anyone's reasonable projection of what our tax exemptions are," said Tony Mitchell, Advocate Health Care's vice president for communications and government relations.

Covenant, part of the same Mokena-based company as St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, fought to reclaim its tax-exempt status in a hearing before an administrative law judge in December 2004.

The Department of Revenue has yet to announce the decision. A spokesman said he expected an answer "soon" but declined to elaborate.

In the meantime, Covenant has paid $4.2 million in property taxes.



Recent Headlines

U.S. appeals judges: Go fight over lawsuits with Dorothy Brown in state court
Sunday, November 13, 2918
Chicago Sun-Times

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle to unveil policy roadmap for Cook County for next five years
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

COMMENTARY: Here's how the Shakman case curbed Cook County patronage
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Appeals court backs Dorothy Brown in lawsuit over public access to electronic records, says judge overstepped authority
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What’s Next As Voters Overwhelmingly Support Higher Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Time
Monday, November 12, 2018
Journal and Topics Online

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security chief fired after review spurred by watchdog report
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

An earlier opening day: 2019 Cook County forest preserves permits go on sale Nov. 15
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County opening 2019 picnic permit sales Nov. 15
Monday, November 05, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

The Cook County Land Bank looks to go commercial
Monday, November 05, 2018
RE Journal

Nov. 15 is new opening date for Cook County forest preserves permits
Monday, November 05, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County Gun Dealer, Minimum Wage Referendums On Ballot
Monday, November 05, 2018
Patch

The Abandoned WWI Monument One Chicago Man Is Determined To Save
Friday, November 02, 2018
Chicago Patch

Cook County freed from federal oversight
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

First-of-its-kind trauma recovery center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
ABC 7

Northbrook opts in to Cook County paid sick leave ordinance, more uncertainty for employers, lawyer says
Monday, October 29, 2018
Cook County Record

First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
WLS Channel 7

Cook County sheriff, CVS team up on safe prescription painkiller disposal
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

HOPE Court, created to keep probationers out of prison, shut down amid problems
Friday, October 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Can Kaegi really reform the assessor's office?
Friday, October 26, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP