A bill in Springfield would broadly define how hospitals in Illinois could qualify for property tax exemptions. It also would create a new tax credit for investor-owned, for-profit hospitals. The Illinois Hospital Association supports the measure. Three hospitals denied tax exemptions last year could qualify for tax exemptions because their cases are still being appealed. Those hospitals are Northwestern Memorial's Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago, Edward Hospital in Naperville and Decatur Memorial Hospital in Decatur. A consumer coalition is criticizing the bill, saying it favors hospitals over taxpayers. Janna Stansell of the coalition says Illinois may lose more in tax dollars to for-profit hospitals than it gains in charity care for the uninsured. The measure also includes a cigarette tax increase.
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