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AP Exclusive: Ill. hospital tax break costs $10M

CHICAGO (AP) — An Associated Press analysis finds that a little-known tax break for investor-owned hospitals passed by the Illinois Legislature last spring will cost the cash-strapped state at least $10 million a year in lost revenue.

Hospital industry officials say the tax credit recognizes the free care they provide to the uninsured. But some state officials were puzzled about how the hospitals were able to land a major tax break during intense closed-door negotiations at a time Springfield was grappling with a dire financial crisis.

The AP's review looked at how the provision got into the largest piece of legislation that passed the General Assembly last spring and its financial impact, which wasn't made public at the time.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the $2.7 billion tax package in June.

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