Cone Health’s Millions in Property Tax Breaks Last Year

North Carolina Health News has an interesting article that outlines the property tax breaks that the non-profit hospital systems enjoy.

Guilford County lists approximately $817 million in assessed value for properties owned by non-profit hospitals here. That translates to approximately $11 million in property taxes avoided by these hospital systems.

Cone Health holds the vast majority of the non-profit hospital-owned properties in Guilford County. Its tax break is especially at the expense of other payers of property taxes in Guilfordd County– including many of us. We pay more in taxes to subsidize the amounts they do not pay.

But there is an asterisk in the article beside the entry for Guilford County. The article explains:

*Guilford County Tax Assessor Ben Chavis said this is likely an underrepresentation because his office doesn’t spend a lot of time assessing exempt property, since it’s not taxable.” 

None of the other counties tabulated in the article has such a disclaimer. That is an honor we exclusively hold here in Guilford County where management is lackluster.

Interestingly, the hospital systems enjoy this property tax break even though they operate like for-profit entities– and certainly they pay their top executives like for-profit entities. They operate in a carnivorous fashion, eating up smaller entities to grab market share. In addition, they open new facilities in the “territory” of other hospital systems to further grab market share.

The charitable glow is a matter of history. It is an illusion for the most part. But they still get the tax break.


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