2002 Provena applies to the Champaign County Board of Review for a property tax exemption on the grounds of its nonprofit status and primary use as a charitable organization. The board recommends denying that request.
2004 Illinois Department of Revenue Director Brian Hamer rules against the hospital and agrees with the Champaign County Board of Review. Provena pays $1.1 million in property taxes and requests an administrative hearing before the department. During the hearing, Provena says it also qualified for a property tax exemption because it is a charitable organization primarily for religious purposes, given that it is a health care ministry of the Roman Catholic Church. Hamer says the level of charity care totals 0.7 percent of its revenue. And he denies the church’s nonprofit status based on its religious mission.
July 2007 The Circuit Court rules in favor of the hospital and says that the Champaign County Board of Review and Illinois Department of Revenue were wrong to deny the exemption. The hospital recovers $6.1 million in property taxes paid since losing its status as a charitable and religious organization in 2002. The Department of Revenue appeals to the 4th District Court of Appeals.
August 2008 Illinois 4th District Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Appleton rules in favor of the Department of Revenue and reverses the lower court decision. In a 55-page report, he writes, “It is unclear to what extent Provena exercises general benevolence as opposed to doing what a for-profit hospital does: selling medical services.”
September 2008 Provena appeals the decision that reversed the hospital’s property tax exemption.
December 2008 The Illinois Supreme Court decides to hear the appeal.
Illinois Issues, September 2009