Temporary Tax Truce

Warren General Hospital will remain tax exempt for 2013.

Court action that may or may not change the hospital’s tax-exempt status will apply starting in 2014.

According to an agreement between the hospital and the Warren County Board of Assessment Appeals, “the hospital shall remain tax exempt for tax years 2012 and 2013.”

That combined filing was accepted at the Warren County prothonotary’s office on March 11.

Judge Gregory Hammond issued an order that same day making it official.

Attorneys John Mehler of MacDonald, Illig, Jones, and Britton, representing the hospital, and Barry Klenowski, representing the board, agreed to set aside the taxes for the year.

In Hammond’s order, he decreed that the Warren County assessment office return Warren General’s properties to the previous assessed values and “refrain from changing the exempt status of the hospital… or the assessed values thereon until directed to do so by this court.”

According to the document, the parties agreed to dismiss the hospital’s procedural challenges, except for the position that, in revoking the hospital’s tax-exempt status, the board acted on its own without “initiation and participation by a taxing body.”

The board retains the right to “raise any appropriate factual or legal defense to such arguments, including that it did not act on its own or that it may do so legally, according to the document.

A status conference has been set for 1 p.m. Friday, April 5.