By admin on April 17, 2013
April 17, 2013 12:05 am
I understand some charities are concerned about the challenge of UPMC’s tax status. The truth is, our charities have nothing to worry about. This challenge has to do with whether UPMC meets the definition of a charity established by the state constitution and Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. A number of factors make UPMC’s position unique, separating it from charities and other non-profits such as schools and universities.
Charities are supposed to make communities better places to live and work: they contribute more than they take, and in consideration are justifiably relieved of paying property tax. One would not expect a charity to shutter hospitals in underserved communities while opening them in more affluent ones. Nor would one expect charities to deny access to patients covered by a competing insurance company. Nor would a true charity intimidate workers who try to form a union. Not to mention, few charities pay their CEO $6 million.
Tax exemptions are a privilege, not a right. When a charity fails to act according to its charitable mission, it is unfair to the taxpayers who bear a larger portion of the tax bill. It is also unfair to the charities that play by the rules. When one compares these charities against UPMC, I think the answer is clear: this tax challenge concerns UPMC and only UPMC. I urge our charitable community to not be confused by the “doom and gloom” rhetoric which seeks to cloud an otherwise clear issue of tax equity and fairness.
Controller of Allegheny County
Posted in FairShare, New, News Articles-Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Mayoral Campaign, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Uncategorized, UPMC   Tags: Allegheny County, Charity, Chelsea Wagner, Fair Share, Non-profit, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, taxes, UPMC, Wagner