Selling hospitals, taxes rise

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Loyola Medicine announced this month that it has completed its purchase of MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, much to the dismay of taxpayers there.

Property owners in Berwyn now face a substantial bump in their tax bill because for-profit Tenet Healthcare paid approximately $3.5 million to the city annually, whereas Loyola, a nonprofit health care system, is exempt from such taxes.

The sale could be a sign of things to come in Oak Park, where West Suburban Medical Center, also owned by Tenet Healthcare, is likely also on the market. Though Oak Park taxpayers face a fate similar to their Berwyn counterparts, Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar tells Wednesday Journal that a sale of West Sub would not hit Oak Parkers' pocketbooks quite as hard.

Those who paid $10,000 in property taxes in 2017 would have had to cough up an extra $120. That probably won't lead to a mass exodus of residents from the village, but the potential for a West Sub sale should serve as a reminder to elected officials that tiny increases add up and belt tightening by all the taxing bodies needs to be a top priority. 

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