The College Avenue site of the former UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster hospital is paying even less than it did when it was untaxed, which wasn’t very much.
When owned by the for-profit Community Health Systems Inc., the hospital paid around $990,000 in school, city and county property taxes. When UPMC, which is classified as a nonprofit, took over, it pressured local taxing bodies into accepting a take-it-or-leave it payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, deal that reduced the property’s payments by around two-thirds.
Community Health Systems’ city property taxes had been around $312,000. In 2019, UPMC’s PILOT to the city was $115,000 and was due to drop to $100,000 in 2020.
By comparison, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health — which has a significantly larger city footprint — pays the city an annual PILOT of $1.5 million, plus $310,000 in city property taxes.
At the time its tax exemption was revoked, the UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster property was assessed at $25 million, which is in the ballpark of the $29.4 million that county records show UPMC paid for it. At $25 million, the site would owe a little over $900,000 in school, city and county taxes.
Instead, UPMC appealed the assessment. It was reduced to $6.5 million, dropping the taxes to about $237,500.
The School District of Lancaster is challenging the reassessment in county court.