Avon Grove, Phoenixville, Coatesville School Districts Relieved After Hospitals’ Bid for Tax Exemptions Denied

hospital sign
Image via Brandywine Hospital.

A Chester County judge denied Tower Health’s application for property tax exemptions on Brandywine, Jennersville, and Phoenixville hospitals, writes Harold Brubaker for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Judge Jeffrey Sommer of the Chester County Court of Common Pleas said that the health system’s operations had become too similar to those of for-profit companies and therefore did not deserve to be free of property taxes.

The ruling was a victory for the Avon Grove, Phoenixville, and Coatesville school districts, where the potential loss of millions of dollars in revenue could have prompted large tax increases.

“Tower Health is disappointed in this ruling and will appeal based on what we believe are numerous factual and procedural errors, and a flawed legal analysis,” said a representative for Tower Health.

The week prior, the organization received much better news from a Montgomery County judge, who approved its bid for a property tax exemption for Pottstown Hospital.

This disparity in decisions reflects the messiness in the Commonwealth of determining nonprofit property tax exemptions based on cluttered state laws and legal precedents.

“These outdated, competing, and often contradictory sources no longer offer appropriate direction as each one fails to reflect the current state of medical care and the delivery of such in the 21st century,” wrote Sommer in his decision.

Read more about Tower Health in The Philadelphia Inquirer.