NJ governor pushes for 2-year freeze on nonprofit hospital tax rates

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has pitched a plan that would freeze property tax assessments for tax-exempt hospitals for 2016 and 2017, according to The Bergen Dispatch.

In January, Gov. Christie pocket vetoed legislation that would have required some of the state's nonprofit hospitals to pay a daily rate to support public safety and municipal services. The legislation was a response to a lawsuit challenging Morristown (N.J.) Medical Center's tax exemption. The ruling found the 687-bed nonprofit hospital was largely operating as a for-profit entity, and the hospital agreed to pay a $15.5 million settlement over the next decade to resolve the issue.

"The subject of property tax exemptions is a complex issue that has not been comprehensively reviewed or legislatively modified in more than seven decades," said Gov. Christie, according to the report. "While I applaud the Legislature for taking quick action to address the urgent needs of these non-profits, this is a matter that deserves more careful study from everyone who would be impacted and a thoughtful policy discussion."

During the freeze on tax assessments, a nine-member commission would study the issue and develop proposals to resolve the tax exemption matter, according to the report.

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