SUNBURY — UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury’s planned closure throws its challenge of the Northumberland County Board of Assessment tax exemption denial into limbo, according to county officials.

The hospital had requested exemption from more than $370,000 in real estate revenue as a nonprofit.

Hospital officials, only two weeks ago, filed a challenge to the October denial in Northumberland County Court. No notices to withdraw or any other court documents have been filed since UPMC announced Thursday the closure of the hospital by March 2020.

“I find it interesting, not surprising,” said Brenda Shaw, the county director of real estate assessment and tax claims. “In my 40 years of assessment, there’s not a lot that surprises me anymore.”

Shaw said she has worked for other counties where property owners continue the assessment appeals and legal challenges to make the property more appealing to potential buyers.

“I don’t know if we’ll see an official withdrawal or not,” she said. “I don’t know if their intent is to sell it to another nonprofit or not.”

The former Sunbury Community Hospital, located at 350 N. 11th St., Sunbury, and the former Lock Haven Hospital, at 24 Cree Drive, Lock Haven, were both purchased from for-profit Quorum Health by nonprofit UPMC Susquehanna on Oct. 6, 2017. The property in Sunbury has been taxed since 2006 when Quorum Health, under Sunbury Hospital Corporation, purchased it from nonprofit Sunbury Community Hospital, according to county assessment records.

The UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury properties, which are assessed at a total value of $2,399,200, are across 20 different parcels in the same area of North 11th Street. If the appeal was successful, the three taxing bodies would give up $371,800 in property tax revenue: $224,325 for Shikellamy School District, $74,975 for the city of Sunbury and $72,500 for Northumberland County, according to the assessment records.

County Solicitor Frank Garrigan said UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury was denied because there were questions about whether all 20 parcels related to the hospital were eligible for tax exemption.

UPMC Susquehanna Lock Haven has since filed its own appeal in Clinton County Court, challenging a county board of assessment decision on Oct. 31 to deny its tax exemption request. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 13.

UPMC Susquehanna Lock Haven’s exemption amount is $308,134: $163,190 from Keystone Central School District, $72,523 from the city of Lock Haven and $72,421 from Clinton County, according to county records.

Trending Video