Lead article “Do hospitals pay fair share?” reports:
” ‘A question is sometimes raised as to why not-for-profit institutions such as Lancaster General Health … are exempt from paying property taxes,” wrote LGH President and CEO Thomas E. Beeman. But LGH does pay property taxes, he wrote; by the end of fiscal year 2013, on June 30, LGH will have paid more than $6 million in taxes and payments in lieu of taxes to local municipalities and school districts.’ ” …
“Here, officials say they’re generally pleased with the generosity of local health care systems. In Lancaster city, the health system’s $237,000 in tax payments and $1.38 million payment in lieu of taxes mean that in fiscal year 2013, it will pay about 95 percent of what its tax bill would have been without the exemptions.”…
“In 2012 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a landmark decision asserting that to prove it is a tax-exempt charity, an organization had to meet five specific criteria — it must “operate entirely free from profit motive” and donate “a substantial portion of its services,” among other requirements.”
WATCHDOG: Six comments:
1) Thank you Sunday News for at least discussing the matters of importance, albeit always in a way that minimizes offense to the establishment. For this a wag of the tail.
2) Readers should always continue to the end of such articles and also between the lines.
3) The authorities do not pay much heed to updating assessments on tax exempt properties, so it well may be that the tax Lancaster General Health would have to pay without an exemption would be much greater than their current contributions.
4) Lancaster General Health clearly has not donated “a substantial portion of its services” nor does it provide adequate support to other charities that share its mission, as also required. Concerning services, the trick they play is to set artificially ‘retail rates’ on its services and then treat discounts to insurance plans and the Amish as contributions.
5) The Lancaster General Health governance lacks transparency, is self-perpetuating, and the all Caucasian establishment board does not reflect community diversity. It is also gradually creating a monopolistic strangle hold on all medical services in the county.
6) The public ends up paying for Lancaster General Health’s self-serving actions through higher medical bills and health insurance rates.