IHA commends passage of SB2194

By The Madison County Record | May 29, 2012

To the Editor:

The Illinois Hospital Association commends the Illinois General Assembly for approving Senate Bill 2194, which includes key provisions on property and sales tax exemptions for nonprofit hospitals and an income tax credit for investor-owned hospitals. We look forward to the Governor signing the bill into law.

This legislation sets clear, fair and workable criteria that states which activities and services are sufficient for hospitals to qualify for tax exemption and how charitable care is determined. This legislation holds hospitals accountable for what is expected and required of them.

Sound tax exemption policy, as embodied by this legislation, is critical to supporting our health care delivery system. This will enable hospitals to continue investing in their communities by providing services, enhancing access to care, improving quality, purchasing new life-saving technology, upgrading facilities, educating physicians and other health care professionals, and conducting medical research.

Illinois hospitals treat patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing services to those who do not have the financial means to pay for the treatment they need, including charity care to 1 million Illinoisans every year. The exemption from property and sales taxes is society's way of investing in the health and well being of the people and communities served by Illinois hospitals. Without hospitals, the burden on the government to provide for the health of the people would be enormous.

Financially healthy hospitals are critical to Illinois, not only as health care providers, but also as major job creators and economic engines. Hospitals provide nearly 425,000 direct and indirect jobs to Illinoisans and have an economic impact about $79 billion a year for the local and state economies. Hospitals are one of the few sectors of the economy creating new jobs and are vital to stimulating the state's economic recovery.

Maryjane A. Wurth, President and CEO
Illinois Hospital Association

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