URBANA - Property taxes in Urbana are about to jump by an average of 10 percent. This increase is caused by legislation that was approved in 2012, which allows not-for-profit hospitals a property tax exemption equal to the value of the charity care that hospital provides.
In 2012, Urbana-based Carle Foundation reported that it provided $35 million in free or discounted health care. The new law means a sizeable loss of revenue for the city, and that deficit will have to be made up by the remaining taxpayers. The increase in taxes aren't felt evenly between Champaign and Urbana, however. Urbana's tax rate is $10.46 for every $100 of assessed value, while Champaign's is only $8.34.
This tax rate hike has caused some concern for city officials. A bill was sponsored by Representative Naomi Jakobson in May 2013 that would prevent a hospital's tax exemption from disproportionately affecting a community, but remains stuck in the House rules committee. The increased taxes will be applied starting in May 2014.