Cleveland Clinic tax battle has wider implications

For almost two years, the Cleveland Clinic has fought be exempted having property taxes assessed on its Beachwood (OH) campus, running up a tax bill of about $5.3 million in the process. If the Clinic loses its dispute, not only will it suffer, but non-profit hospitals around the state fear that their medical office campuses will be next to fall under the taxman's axe. Not only that, it wouldn't be surprising if other state tax authorities took note.

To date, the Clinic has had a hard time of it in tax court. Though he doesn't dispute the Clinic's non-profit status, the state's tax commissioner has ruled that since the campus is a physician's office building providing little if any charity care, it shouldn't be exempt. The Clinic, for its part, contends that teaching and research is done there, and that 6 to 7 percent of patient care goes to indigent patients. The case currently rests with the state's Board of Tax Appeals, and is expected to reach the Ohio Supreme Court.

To learn more about the dispute:
- read this Cleveland Plain Dealer piece

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