Supreme Court Summaries

Opinions filed March 18, 2010



No. 107328     Provena Covenant Medical Center v. Department of Revenue


Appellate citation: 384 Ill. App. 3d 734.


      JUSTICE KARMEIER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

      Chief Justice Fitzgerald and Justice Thomas concurred in the judgment and opinion.

      Justice Burke concurred in part and dissented in part, with opinion, joined by Justice Freeman.

      Justices Kilbride and Garman took no part in the decision.


      This litigation concerns Provena Hospitals’ property taxes for the year 2002. At issue are 43 parcels of real estate in Champaign County. Provena Hospitals is a not-for-profit corporation which owns six hospitals, including Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana. It is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, is exempt from federal income tax and the Illinois sales and use taxes, and is regulated in Illinois as a charity. Nevertheless, the Department of Revenue ruled that Provena was not eligible for a charitable tax exemption for the year in question. After this, a complaint for administrative review was filed by Provena in the circuit court of Sangamon County. That court approved the exemption, but the appellate court reversed it and upheld the Department of Revenue’s ruling. Provena then appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court. It is the original decision of the Department of Revenue, denying tax relief, which is under review.

      In this decision, the supreme court upheld the denial of property tax exemption for the tax year in question, agreeing with the appellate court that the record was inadequate to demonstrate that Provena was a charitable institution. The Department’s denial of a religious exemption was also upheld.