Group wants Boston's non-profit hospitals to pay more to coffers

While Boston's eight biggest teaching hospitals own $2.4 billion in property, they paid just $4 million in voluntary payments to the city's coffers in 2007. That's simply not right, particularly given that the eight institutions had excess income of $750 million that year, argues Community Labor United, a coalition of union and activist groups.

The groups, which would like to see the hospitals help pay more for police, fire and other city services, note that the hospitals would have paid $64.2 million in city taxes in 2007 if they were taxed like commercial properties.

The hospitals, which include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Tufts Medical Center, argue that Community Labor United substantially underestimates how much they already contribute to the Boston area, including $175 million in community programs and far more in charity care.

However, it seems city officials are sympathetic to the coalition's claims. The coalition's critique comes in the wake of similar arguments by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who is forming a task force that will consider increasing the voluntary payments hospitals and universities already make.

To learn more about the controversy:
- read this piece from The Boston Globe

Related Article:
Boston mayor goes after money from area non-profit hospitals