(PITTSBURGH) March 20, 2013 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced that he is directing the City of Pittsburgh Law Department to challenge UPMC’s status as an “institution of purely public charity” (IPPC). This challenge comes on the heels of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling last year that reaffirmed that institutions like UPMC must meet a specific set of standards to qualify for charitable tax-exemptions.
“Following an extensive review process by legal counsel, we are confident that UPMC fails to meet the standards set by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to be classified as an institution of purely public charity,” Ravenstahl said. “UPMC must act like the charity it claims to be. It is time for UPMC to engage in a serious conversation with the City and key stakeholders about its responsibilities to our community.”
According to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, whether an entity is an IPPC depends on its satisfaction of the 5-pronged test announced in Hospital Utilization Project v. Commonwealth, popularly known as the “HUP Test.” The annual window to challenge UPMC’s tax-exemption status will close on March 31.
Under the HUP test, an organization must establish that it does all of the following to qualify as an IPPC:
Based on publicly available information – including but not limited to UPMC’s Consolidated Form 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service for FY 2011 – the City believes that UPMC fails the HUP test in one or more respects and, therefore, is not an IPPC. Among the reasons that UPMC fails the HUP Test are the following:
The City also contends that UPMC is failing to pay millions of dollars of payroll taxes each year, in violation of state and local law. To remedy this violation, the City is seeking the following:
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687