UPMC to city: Go tax our subsidiaries
The city of Pittsburgh can't challenge UPMC's tax-exempt status because it has no employees, but it can go after taxes from the health care giant's 44 subsidiaries that do, an attorney for UPMC argued on Wednesday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
“In this country, we have corporate separateness,” said Downtown attorney William Pietragallo. “If the city feels that those separate entities should be paying taxes, they can challenge them individually.”
Attorneys for the city argue that UPMC's top officials — including CEO Jeffrey Romoff — work for the conglomerate, so it's unfair for the $10 billion hospital system to claim it has no employees.
“UPMC clearly has some taxable entities, and possibly all of them,” said E.J. Strassburger, an attorney representing the city.
Both sides appeared before Common Pleas Judge R. Stanton Wettick and argued over UPMC's tax liability and whether the judge can make the determination. Wettick made no decision but asked both sides to refile briefs.
Pietragallo said the city's petition could be made only after the city treasurer — using information the office has — decides whether UPMC's subsidiaries should be paying taxes. If the treasurer decides they should, then UPMC can — and likely will — appeal, he said. Until then, he argued, the matter should not be before the court.
“The city of Pittsburgh is not a sovereign who can make all the rules it wants when it suits them,” he said.
UPMC spokesman Paul Wood said 23 of UPMC's 44 subsidiaries are tax-exempt, and their status has never been challenged. The remaining 21 subsidiaries pay taxes, Wood said.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Peat adds to Stanford offensive line legacy
- NFL Draft preview: Thin crop of offensive tackles available
- Penguins Insider: Series has enough gamesmanship
- Rossi: Rutherford falling apart, too
- Shooting reported at Webster Avenue bar in Hill District
- Pirates notebook: Fan struck by foul ball released from hospital
- Step up in class doesn’t hold back Deer Lakes baseball team
- Rangers enjoy benefits of strong start
- Steelers open daunting season at Patriots, play 5 prime-time games
- Savor salmon’s wild side of distinctive flavors, textures
- Dinner in Minutes: Stir-fry beef dish flavors leftover rice