Thursday, May 29, 2014

Times Reports Porter County Takes Steps to Strip Hospital of Tax Abatement

From the Northwest Indiana Times:

The Porter County Council took action Wednesday on two long-debated issues involving Porter Regional Hospital, including taking the first step in possibly pulling 10 years of tax breaks.
The council members unanimously agreed to host a meeting at 5 p.m. June 5 to decide whether the hospital is in compliance with the requirements for the approved tax abatement.
If the council finds the hospital not in compliance, a hearing will be scheduled within 30 days to allow hospital officials the opportunity to respond, Council Attorney Scott McClure said.
A finding by the council to pull the abatement would trigger an option for an appeal in the courts, McClure said.
Council President Dan Whitten, D-at large, said the concern over the abatement involves the large gap between the $39.3 million value the hospital places on the property for tax purposes and the requirement when the tax abatement was approved in 2009 that $130 million or more be invested in the site.
"They can't have it both ways," he said.
The hospital has — three years into the tax abatement period — submitted forms requesting the tax abatement be activated, McClure said. The hospital also is seeking to have those benefits applied retroactively to the earlier years.