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Healthcare, Property Tax Exemptions and Implications from Recent Court Cases
Unformatted Document Text:  23 holistic health care, and in addition contended that fitness clients need motivation to engage in exercise activities. The spa services created that draw. The tax authorities however, observed little difference between the medical fitness centers and commercial fitness clubs providing the same services. Tax authority arguments: Ohio Kansas Nebraska Use of the property for exclusively for charitable purposes (as opposed to the general public) x x Commercial enterprise including for profit purpose (noted day spa services; pricing benchmarked against commercial fitness centers) x x x No or little provision for persons unable to meet full membership fee x x No demonstrated community need for the humanitarian services x No demonstration that fitness center aided the institution in providing rehab services to patients x The outcome of the litigation had varying impacts on the health systems. The negative decision was a blow to TriHealth, not only financially but also philosophically. Management was insistent that the center promoted health and had argued that the charitable purpose criterion in Ohio’s exemption law should not be interpreted solely as requiring free care but more broadly as a service that that benefitted mankind in general. As a result of the case, TriHealth’s wellness center management has changed the tone of its marketing and promotion materials, placing more emphasis on the medical aspect of center programs. In addition it has given more visibility to its scholarship program for persons unable to pay the full cost of membership. Alegent’s management took a very different position. It admitted that the wellness center was designed to be upscale and appealing to financially secure clientele.

Authors: Fanning, Mary.
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holistic health care, and in addition contended that fitness clients need motivation to
engage in exercise activities. The spa services created that draw. The tax authorities
however, observed little difference between the medical fitness centers and commercial
fitness clubs providing the same services.
Tax authority arguments:
Ohio
Kansas Nebraska
Use of the property for exclusively for charitable
purposes (as opposed to the general public)
x
x
Commercial enterprise including for profit purpose
(noted day spa services; pricing benchmarked against
commercial fitness centers)
x x x
No or little provision for persons unable to meet full
membership fee
x x
No demonstrated community need for the humanitarian
services
x
No demonstration that fitness center aided the institution
in providing rehab services to patients
x
The outcome of the litigation had varying impacts on the health systems. The
negative decision was a blow to TriHealth, not only financially but also philosophically.
Management was insistent that the center promoted health and had argued that the
charitable purpose criterion in Ohio’s exemption law should not be interpreted solely as
requiring free care but more broadly as a service that that benefitted mankind in general.
As a result of the case, TriHealth’s wellness center management has changed the tone of
its marketing and promotion materials, placing more emphasis on the medical aspect of
center programs. In addition it has given more visibility to its scholarship program for
persons unable to pay the full cost of membership.
Alegent’s management took a very different position. It admitted that the wellness
center was designed to be upscale and appealing to financially secure clientele.


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