Pharos-Tribune

Local News

September 23, 2009

Are nursing homes now tax-exempt?

Lawmaker, attorney disagree on law’s impact

A Logansport lawmaker says he doesn’t believe an amendment to this year’s state budget opened the door to tax refunds for nursing homes across the state.

State Rep. Rich McClain says the exemption applies only to those entities that are indeed not-for-profit organizations. The for-profit language in the amendment, he said, applies only to those nonprofit organizations that failed to file for their nonprofit status on time.

McClain said he researched the details of the bill with a staff member in the House Ways and Means Committee after hearing from constituents who were concerned by reports out of last week’s meeting of the Cass County Council.

County council president Ralph Anderson had announced at the meeting that a law had been passed to allow for-profit nursing homes to file for an exemption from property taxes.

County Assessor Judy Lewis said she understood that any for-profit nursing home could apply to receive future tax exemptions, as well as a refund for already-paid taxes back to the year 2000.

“They can ask for all of the money back from the last 10 years,” Lewis said.

McClain said that wasn’t the intent of the amendment.

“In this special session budget bill was a statement that basically says if you are a not-for-profit and you did not file, you have until Sept. 1 of this year to file that, but you have to be a not-for-profit, or 501(c)3, to get that special tax exemption,” he said.

Law firms across the state, however, have been filing for the exemption for for-profit nursing homes. Pete Mallers, an attorney with Beers Mallers Backs and Salin LLC of Fort Wayne, filed on behalf of Logansport’s Woodbridge Health Campus, and he contends for-profit homes are eligible for the exemption.

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