Marshfield Clinic Lawsuit Could Impact School Budget by Nearly 1 Million Dollars

Marshfield Clinic file image

MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – Marshfield Clinic Inc. has filed two separate lawsuits against the City of Marshfield regarding alleged improper assessments of the Clinic’s property.

According to the complaint, the Clinic details the property tax it was assessed based on the value of their assets at 1000 N. Oak Ave. and 1001 N. Oak Ave.

For the hospital building at 1000 N. Oak Ave., the complaint states Marshfield Clinic Inc. was assessed $61,858,400 for the land and improvements made to the land (i.e. buildings, other structures, parking areas, etc.). The tax associated with that parcel equated to $1,543,844.84.

The second parcel located at 1001 N. Oak Ave. was assessed for $50,161,200 which resulted in the tax payment of $1,251,898.33. Combined, the clinic had to pay $2,795,743.17 in property taxes for the tax year 2020 for their properties at 1000 and 1001 N. Oak Ave.

According to the complaint filed by the Clinic, after they were given the bill in December of 2020 by the City of Marshfield, they paid the taxes for both of the above listed properties in a timely manner.

The complaint cites Wisconsin State Statute 70.11 which notes Non-profit Hospitals as an entity that is exempt from property taxes.

The Hospital is located at 1000 N. Oak Ave, but other buildings including the Lawton Center for Research and Education and part of Marshfield Clinic are also located at this address. The other parcel contains the East Wing which houses a variety of areas, including recovery suites, Pediatrics, and Radiology.

What does this mean for citizens of Marshfield?

According to tax statements, the property taxes Marshfield Clinic paid in the above complaint were slated to be distributed to four different entities: Wood County, the City of Marshfield, Mid-State Technical College, and the Marshfield School District.

For example, if Marshfield Clinic were to win its complaint, $880,000 worth of tax money paid by Marshfield Clinic and meant for Marshfield School District may need to be reimbursed or credited. Similar situations would occur for Wood County, the City, and Mid-State Technical College.

A statement from Marshfield Clinic Communications Director John Gardner said the lawsuit is essentially a backup plan in case the Clinic and City cannot reach an agreement.

“The Health System has been working with the assessor to understand the basis for the assessments,” Gardner said. “While those discussions are ongoing, the Health System filed its action as required by law to preserve its rights if the parties are unable to reach appropriate agreements.”

Gardner said the clinic is working towards resolving the issue without involving the legal system.

“We remain hopeful that both parties will be able work together to resolve any disagreements and are committed to doing so on our end.”

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News Desk
Author: News Desk

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