Carle hopes website explains exemptions

By Anna Carrera

Published 05/15 2014 05:05PM

Updated 05/16 2014 09:45AM

URBANA -- Carle officials would like to put the property tax issue behind them. It's caused a lot of tension between the hospital and city leaders. Hospital leaders launched a new website this week to clear the air. They want to help explain the hospital's property tax exemption.

The site goes into a lot of detail with the history. It isn't a new issue, but the situation has changed throughout the years. Carle used public documents for background with links to some of those on its site. There's a lot of information, including facts and figures, which Carle representatives hope will show their side of the story.

They want people to see the amount of charity care the hospital has given people in Urbana, which is why it got the tax exemption in the first place.

"Our job here is to provide patient care and we want to do that," said Mike Billimack, who is the Carle Vice President of communications. "We don't want to be distracted by issues like this if we don't have to be, but we will continue to persevere in this effort to preserve the resources that we think are appropriate."

Billimack says the hospital helps one in ten people in Urbana get charity care, which adds up to about $5.6 million. He says that's more than the hospital's tax exemptions are worth.

Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing says even though the tax exemption is a statewide rule, her city is likely the hardest hit because of it.

There's still a legal battle going on. Carle's spokesperson says they're willing to settle, like they did with the parks and schools, but Mayor Prussing thinks the city will win in court.

To see the website, click here.

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