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City settles tax case with St. John

February 06, 2014
Based on a recommendation from the Grosse Pointe Woods city assessor and city attorney, the city council approved the settlement of a tax case with St. John Hospital and Medical Center that dates back to 2012.

At issue is St. John's contention its VanElslander Cancer Center and adjoining parking lot should be tax exempt based on a restructured business model put forth by St. John. While 80 percent of the property had been tax exempt previously, St. John now maintains the remaining 20 percent is now no longer occupied by paying tenants and should be removed from the tax rolls.

In a letter to the council, city attorney Chip Berschback said he and the city assessor, Scott Vandemergel, reviewed the information from St. John and agreed the property should now be listed as tax exempt.

However, because St. John benefits still benefits from Woods city services, including police and fire, the hospital has agreed to a separate agreement with the city for Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT).

Through the agreement, St. John agreed to pay the city $27,180 for 2012 and a similar amount for 2013.

The rate for 2014 is still to be determined.

The council, at its Feb. 3 meeting, voted unanimously to accept the agreement, thus canceling a hearing before the state's Tax Tribunal.

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