State floats new plan to tax hospitals

In a move that could impact revenue for the City of Evanston and local schools, officials of the Illinois Department of Revenue reportedly are considering a new proposal to put non-profit hospitals on the property tax rolls.

Crain's Chicago Business reports the plan would give the hospitals credits for the free care they provide.

Over the summer the revenue department stripped charitable status from three hospitals because they spent less than 2 percent of net patient revenue on free care.

Governor Quinn later blocked additional tax exemption revocations, saying the law was unclear, and called for recommendations on new legislation by next spring.

NorthShore University HealthSystem's Evanston Hospital and Resurrection Health Care's St. Francis Hospital are the second and fourth largest employers in the city, with a total of more than 5,000 workers.

It's not known how much tax either institution might pay if the revenue department's proposal were adopted.

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