Excela Health sues county over taxes on surgical center

Excela Health, a nonprofit health system based in Greensburg, Pa., is suing Westmoreland County after it denied Excela's request to extend tax-exempt status to one of its ambulatory surgical centers, reports Tribune-Review.

Excela Health bought the surgical center in 2013 for $11 million. Excela has argued the surgical center should be exempt from taxes, as the facility is an extension of nonprofit Excela Health Latrobe (Pa.) Hospital.

The Board of Assessment Appeals denied the request in January, contending ASCs compete with for-profit businesses, unlike hospitals, whose purposes are charitable.  

Excela filed the lawsuit filed against the Board of Assessment Appeals Feb. 2.

Court records show Latrobe (Pa.) Area Hospital, the owner of Greensburg-based Laurel Surgical, owns 59 properties in Westmoreland County. Of those properties, 35 have been granted tax exemptions under the hospital system's nonprofit umbrella, according to the article.

Excela manages operations at three acute care hospitals in western Pennsylvania.

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