West Suburban Medical Center

The sale last year of West Suburban Medical Center to a for-profit entity will result in a small but significant financial windfall for various taxing bodies in Oak Park.

School districts 97 and 200, as well as the Park District of Oak Park and Oak Park Township, will likely divvy up roughly $2.4 million in new revenue as a result of West Sub’s properties coming on to the tax rolls, according to Oak Park’s assessor.

In all, 41 parcels belonging to West Sub have been assessed this year, totaling about $10.6 million. West Sub was a nonprofit hospital before being sold to Vanguard Health Systems, a Nashville-based company, in June of 2010. But Vanguard is appealing the properties’ 2011 assessment — they’re currently appealing with the Cook County Board of Review after losing an appeal with the Cook County Assessor.

But Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar warns that the revenue coming to the taxing bodies are only best estimates and not official until Vanguard’s appeals are resolved.

ElSaffar added that two of West Subs’ parcels located at 1 N. Humphrey — each assessed at about $1 million — likely doesn’t count as “new growth.” One, he says, was already on the tax rolls. The other parcel, originally a vacant piece of land but now housing a building, had a 2010 assessment of about $20,000 but this year was assessed at just over a million.

Minus those two parcels, West Subs 40 remaining properties total approximately $8,123,058 in assessed value. ElSaffar then multiplied that amount by last year’s state equalizer — 3.3701 — and Cook County’s overall tax rate of 8.841 to come up with approximately $2,369,926 in new revenue. ElSaffar said the four taxing bodies will get a portion of that amount.

That figure, he qualifies, is his best projection in determining what each taxing body can expect to receive. ElSaffar also noted that those taxing bodies are subject to state tax caps that limit the amount of money they can levy each year based on the rate of inflation. The Village of Oak Park and the Oak Park Public Library are exempt from tax caps and not included in ElSaffar’s projections.

D97 can expect to receive about $812,000 and Oak Park and River Forest High School roughly $678,000. The park district expects to net about $116,000 and the Township about $59,000.

Jim Egeberg, financial director for the park district, said his district will use the new revenue to fix up the parks, including Ridgeland Commons.

“We’re going to dedicate most of that new revenue to capital projects. There’s not a lot of new growth in Oak Park so this is welcome,” he said.

ElSaffar noted that Oak Park normally doesn’t see this kind of amount in new growth. The other notable property added to the tax rolls this year is the new Walgreens built at Madison and Oak Park. Typically, he says, Oak Park’s land-locked status limits new growth.

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