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:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Provena Case may open door for state, local effort to tax hospitals.

Thursday, March 18, 2010
Crain's Chicago Business
by Greg Hinz's Blog

Thursday's decision by the Illinois Supreme Court in the Provena case may open the door to widespread local and state efforts to force hospitals to either provide adequate free care to the poor or pay property taxes if they don't.

For starters, the decision could revive a stalled legislative campaign by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to force property-tax-exempt hospitals to spend a specific amount -- at least 8% of their operating budget -- on charity care.

Though Ms. Madigan did not immediately announce any General Assembly plans, a statement put out by her office could be read as an invitation to the hospital industry to come to the bargaining table.

Negotiating with Ms. Madigan could be a lot easier for the industry than having to deal with more than 100 county assessors throughout Illinois.

The court's decision "upheld over a century of Illinois law that requires tax-exempt hospitals to provide free heath care in exchange for the enormous tax breaks they choose to receive," Ms. Madigan said in a statement. "This decision is good news for the nearly 2 million uninsured Illinoisans."

Ms. Madigan's spokeswoman later added only that, "We certainly will need to take a look at where we are, going forward, after talking with all the stakleholders."

More direct was Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, who said the decision "absolutely is going to provoke a discussion" about how the county can be reimbursed for free care that it provides but which tax-exempt hospitals should be offering.

"This is a seminal decision. We are going to have to respond," Mr. Suffredin said. "The decision opens up an opportunity here to ensure that charity care is available."

Those discussions could result in "looking at the tax status" of delinquent institutions, Mr. Suffredin said. Or it could evolve into a set system in which certain institutions provide certain types and amounts of care.

County Assessor Jim Houlihan declined to tip his hand yet, saying only in a statement that his office is "still reading and analyzing" the decision.

But Mr. Houlihan in recent years yanked the tax exemption from a high-end retirement complex, the Clare, on the Near North Side that is sponsored by a Roman Catholic group.

Perhaps more on point, in 2007 he released a study saying that the county's 50 or so tax-exempt hospitals would have to pay $238 million to $241 million a year in property taxes if they lost their exemption.

All of the above not withstanding, the Illinois Hospital Association is one of the biggest, best funded and most effective lobbying forces in Springfield. It was one of the top campaign contributors to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and has repeated that stance with his successor, Pat Quinn.

But even IHA's clout will be limited, given what at this point appears to be a clear and decisive high court ruling.


Recent Headlines

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Neighborhood program helps Cook County residents buy homes
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Judge upholds Cook County firearm, ammunition taxes
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: E-filing should make Cook County courts more accessible. It doesn't
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County tax incentive could pave way for Wingstop, Dunkin' Donuts on Elgin's Summit Street
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials arenít sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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