Hospital systems get millions in property tax breaks

By Michelle Crouch

Co-published with the Charlotte Ledger

Every year, Terry Taylor-Allen and her husband, William, pay property taxes on their bungalow in Charlotte’s Dilworth neighborhood. Although the bill has skyrocketed since they moved in 30 years ago, they know the money supports schools, police and other important services. 

The owner of the houses next door, meanwhile, don’t pay a cent on those homes. 

That’s because the houses on either side of them are owned by The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority, a governmental entity otherwise known as Atrium Health. 

Because it’s a hospital authority, Atrium — which had $8.9 billion in revenue in 2021 — does not have to pay taxes on property it owns in Charlotte and across the region. 

That’s true even if the land isn’t used for medical purposes. 

In fact, one tax-exempt Atrium property in Cornelius is home to a PDQ Tenders chicken restaurant. You’ll pay taxes when you buy the chicken tenders, but Atrium doesn’t pay taxes on the land the restaurant sits on.  

Charlotte’s other health care giant, Novant Health, also gets significant tax exemptions. Because it’s a nonprofit hospital and not a public one, it gets a tax break only on property it can show it is using for its charitable purpose.

“If you think about the cumulative total of everything (the hospitals) have taken off the tax rolls over the years, that’s a Godzilla number,” said Taylor-Allen, who lives on Fountain View next to the site where Atrium’s Carolinas Medical Center is expanding. “Think about all the school needs and how much that money could help low-income people who don’t have health care, housing or food.” 

As Mecklenburg County officials discuss a possible tax increase this year, a Charlotte Ledger/N.C. Health News analysis reveals that the two hospitals now own properties assessed at more than $2.4 billion — but which is tax-exempt — in Mecklenburg County alone. That’s based on 2022 assessed values; it’s likely worth more based on the 2023 values recently mailed out. 

If Atrium and Novant were fully taxed in 2022, they would have been Mecklenburg County’s fourth- and fifth-largest property taxpayers, respectively, after only Duke Energy, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. And they would have contributed an additional $23 million to the city and county tax base, according to calculations using 2022 assessed values and tax rates. 

That’s enough to pay the salaries of 527 entry-level teachers in

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Pandemic-fueled shortages of property health and fitness aides strand people with out care

Many trends are fueling the shortages: Hospitals and other businesses are choosing absent home overall health personnel with much better shell out and benefits. Lots of aides have fallen ill or been uncovered to Covid-19 throughout the current surge of omicron conditions and will have to quarantine for a time. And staffers are burned out right after functioning through the pandemic in complicated, stress-provoking circumstances.

The implications for more mature older people are dire. Some seniors who are completely ready for discharge are waiting around in hospitals or rehabilitation facilities for various days just before house care products and services can be arranged. Some are returning house with significantly less help than would be exceptional. Some are suffering from cutbacks in expert services. And some simply can’t uncover treatment.

Janine Hunt-Jackson, 68, of Lockport, New York, falls into this final classification. She has article-polio syndrome, which causes critical fatigue, muscle mass weak point and, frequently, cognitive difficulties. Via New York’s Medicaid application, she’s licensed to obtain 35 several hours of treatment each individual week. But when an aide still left in June, Hunt-Jackson contacted businesses, questioned buddies for referrals, and posted task notices on social media, with minimal reaction.

“A couple of individuals confirmed up and then disappeared. One particular guy was additional than keen to function, but he failed to have transportation. I couldn’t uncover any person trustworthy,” she claimed. Determined, Hunt-Jackson organized for her 24-calendar year-aged grandson, who has autism and oppositional defiant disorder, to shift into her double-wide trailer and serve as her caregiver.

“It truly is frightening. I am not prepared to be in a nursing household, but without having dwelling treatment you will find no other choices,” she mentioned.

Mainly because thorough info isn’t offered, the scope and impression of existing shortages can not be documented with precision. But anecdotal reviews recommend the problem is intense.

“Everyone is suffering from shortages, especially all over nursing and property wellbeing aides, and reporting that they’re not able to confess individuals,” said William Dombi, president of the Countrywide Affiliation for Household Care & Hospice. Some organizations are rejecting as numerous as 40% of new referrals, in accordance to studies he is been given.

“We’re viewing expanding demand on adult protecting expert services as a result of people today with dementia not getting in a position to get products and services,” claimed Ken Albert, president of Androscoggin House
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