Councilman DeFazio Issues Statement Regarding City of Pittsburgh Challenge to UPMC’s Tax Exempt Status

PITTSBURGH - John DeFazio, at-large member of Allegheny County Council, has issued the following statement in support of the City of Pittsburgh’s challenge to UPMC’s tax-exempt status:

“I am proud to be both an elected official representing all the people of Allegheny County, and a representative for thousands of employees in the region through my work for the Steelworkers union.  I have had an interest in the issue of nonprofit tax exemptions for several years now, to the point of introducing an amendment to the County’s law back in 2007 to give us a mechanism to evaluate whether those exemptions are being applied properly, and I am grateful to my colleagues on Council who helped enact that amendment.”

“I was heartened late last year when Chief Executive Fitzgerald announced that he would be relying upon that change in the County’s law in order to conduct a comprehensive review of the manner in which nonprofit tax exemptions are applied to properties throughout Allegheny County.  I am also encouraged by – and support - today’s announcement that the City of Pittsburgh will be undertaking challenges to UPMC’s tax exempt status before both the Court of Common Pleas and the County Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review.”

“Genuinely charitable nonprofit entities should enjoy the benefits of tax exemptions that are conferred under Pennsylvania law.  But entities that comport themselves like for-profit businesses at virtually every turn in order to amass gigantic profits should not be able to shift their tax burdens to the hardworking residents of this County simply by calling themselves ‘charities’ and referring to their profits as ‘surpluses.’ ”

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