Holzer Hasn’t Paid Second-half Taxes On Athens Clinic

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Holzer Health System currently has unpaid property tax bills totaling nearly $322,000 on its Athens clinic, according to figures from the Athens County Treasurer’s Office.

As The Messenger has previously reported, Holzer has applied for a property tax exemption that is being contested by Federal Hocking Local School District.

“Under Ohio law, Holzer does not need to pay the 2013 property taxes in respect (to) the Athens Clinic because a property tax exemption application for this property for 2013 and thereafter is currently pending before the Ohio tax commissioner,” said Holzer attorney Michael Cullers.

Holzer has outstanding property tax bills totaling $321,828 on the four parcels that make up the clinic site on East State Street. Included in that number are unpaid second-half taxes for tax year 2013, an increase that also applied to first-half taxes, and penalties.

So far, Holzer has accumulated $29,257 in penalties, according to the treasurer’s office. Even if Holzer is not granted tax exemption for 2013 and has to pay taxes for that year, it might not have to pay any tax penalties, according to Cullers.

“It would all depend on the order issued by the Ohio tax commissioner as to whether those penalties would have to be paid by Holzer,” Cullers said.

Holzer Health System paid the first-half property taxes it was originally billed, but has not paid an adjustment that increased those taxes nor paid any of the second-half taxes on the clinic.

As The Messenger previously reported, the Athens County Board of Revision last May increased Holzer’s tax bill for 2013 after Federal Hocking objected to the value that had been placed on the clinic. The school district had argued successfully that the taxable value should be just over $7.3 million, rather than the previously set amount of $3.7 million, basing that argument on the fact that Holzer Health System bought the clinic in 2012 for $21 million. Taxable value is 35 percent of fair market value.

According to figures from the treasurer’s office, Holzer’s tax bills on the clinic for tax year 2013 increased by nearly $223,000 due to adjustments that were made.

An employee for the treasurer’s office said delinquent tax bills for 2013 will be sent out in November.