An Empirical Examination of State and Local Revocations of Tax-Exempt Status for Nonprofit Hospitals
Posted: 5 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2005
In recent years, many states and local authorities have revoked the tax exemptions for several nonprofit hospitals. In this study we examine whether hospital-specific and governmental revenue-need characteristics, organized by four underlying constructs, affect state and local tax authorities' decisions to revoke nonprofit hospitals' tax-exempt status. Based on analyses of state and local tax laws, we distinguish three types of taxes paid by hospitals: Medicaid taxes; state revenue-based taxes; and local taxes. We separately examine the effects of these characteristics on the revocation of the tax-exempt status for each type. We use survivorship analysis and fit logistic regressions that employ panel data to study the risk of revocation for each type of tax. Our results suggest that the likelihood that state authorities assess Medicaid taxes increases with the size of the tax base (i.e., patient revenue) and ability to pay, but decreases with lower revenue needs. We find that the likelihood of revocation for hospitals paying state revenue-based tax increases with the size of the tax base (i.e., total operating revenue), but decreases with public health benefits provided (e.g., charity care) and lower revenue needs. Finally, we show that the size of the tax base (public health benefit provided) increases (decreases) the likelihood of revoking the tax-exempt status for hospitals that pay local tax. Implications for local tax authorities and hospital managers are briefly discussed.
Keywords: Revocation of Tax-Exempt Status, Nonprofit Hospital, Survivorship Analysis and Logistic Regressions Panel Data
JEL Classification: E62, H25, H29, C23, C25
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