On behalf of our member companies that provide 1 million jobs in our state and make NJBIA the largest statewide business association in the nation, thank you for the opportunity to speak with you regarding our support of A-1135 (Coughlin (D19) ; Karabinchak (D18); Vainieri Huttle (D37)) which reinstates the prior property tax exemption for nonprofit hospitals with on-site for-profit medical providers; requires some of these hospitals to pay community service contributions; and establishes the Nonprofit Hospital Community Service Contribution Study Commission.
As a result of a single tax court ruling on June 30, 2015, the New Jersey Tax Court determined that Morristown Memorial Hospital was not eligible for property tax exemptions. This decision had far-reaching impact on hospitals and physicians in New Jersey, as well as on municipal taxing authorities.
Since the court ruling, nonprofit hospitals across the state have been engaged in lengthy lawsuits with municipalities over property taxes. This cycle of litigation has not only taken up a lot of time, it has created large legal bills for hospitals, towns and taxpayers.
This legislation is necessary due to the uncertainty created by the Tax Court decision and offers taxpayers, municipalities, hospitals and patients a statewide, comprehensive solution. It would further protect the property tax exemption of nonprofit hospitals, provide voluntary payments to fund critical community services and put a stop to expensive lawsuits.
This legislation offers predictability and long-range budget planning is critical to serving the needs of patients within the community hospitals serve.
NJBIA believes this legislation further fosters the important relationship that exists between a hospital and the community.
For these reasons, we support A-1135.
Chrissy Buteas, Chief Government Affairs Officer