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Metro Health Gets Tax Bill From Wyoming
The bill far outpaces the organization's property tax liabilities in
"It turns out this is not unusual at all. Construction projects like this are taxable even though we're a nonprofit," Metro Health spokeswoman
Wyoming City Assessor Gene Vogan said the tax bill is based on a $39.3 million property value assessment, with a taxable value of $37.4 million, for the new hospital building, as of
The bill of $1.98 million is due Aug. 31.
"I've been here 23 years and it's always been tax-exempt," Grand Rapids City Treasurer Al Mooney said.
After Metro Health's move next month, the old hospital will be demolished to make way for
Metro Health has paid property taxes to
Metro Health, under its legal name
Warner, Norcross & Judd lawyer Jeff Power, who works with nonprofits, said it's not unusual for nonprofit organizations to pay property taxes in
"It's a three-part test," Power said. "You have to meet all parts of the test; otherwise it's no go."
Large nonprofits may opt to offer the local government a voluntary payment in recognition of the services they require, such as police, fire and roads, he said.
A nonprofit must apply to the local assessor for property tax exempt status, he added.
"They haven't shown me a single paper that indicates that (nonprofit status), even though I've requested it," Vogan said of Metro Health last week.
Vogan noted that state law allows property taxes to be collected on sections of buildings that may be owned by a nonprofit but leased by a for-profit enterprise.
"They could have for-profit entities using the space," Vogan said. "It could be labs, a pharmacy. Just from personal experience, I know that emergency rooms at times are basically leased to a group of doctors that then run a business."
For example, according to
Trinity Health, the nonprofit parent company of Saint Mary's Health Care, paid $13,122 to the city for property taxes on a single parcel.
Vogan said that should Metro Health prove nonprofit status for the new hospital at
"Its value is for the magnet it is," he said, referring to the medical offices, retail, residential and other taxable development that is going up in and around