In a much-anticipated decision, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, sided with the Illinois Department of Revenue and local taxing authorities who had found that Provena Covenant Medical Center was not entitled to a property tax exemption as a religious and charitable institution. Applying a very deferential standard of review, the Appellate Court found no reason to upset the Department of Revenue’s decision that the hospital’s charity care did not justify an exemption. The trial court had reversed the Department’s decision but the Appellate Court disagreed, finding that the decision should stand. At the time the tax exemption was removed, the hospital’s charity care level was less than one percent of its revenue. At issue for the hospital is a property tax bill that could cost it as much as $1 million per year. According to the court, simply being a nonprofit “in the hospital business” is not sufficient to establish charitable status under Illinois law. The court did not believe that the hospital demonstrated “general benelovence” as is required for a charitable and religious institution. In so ruling, the court rejected the hospital’s “community benefit” claim. The court also rejected the hospital’s argument that it should be exempt as a religious institution, since the building was used primarily for the secular purpose of providing health care services, and not as a place of religious worship or instruction. The hospital has announced that it will ask the Illinois Supreme Court to review the case. Provena Covenant Med. Ctr. v. The Dep’t of Rev., 2008 Ill. App. LEXIS 867 (Ill. App. Ct. 4th Dist. Aug. 26, 2008).