It’s great to see so many of our elected leaders standing in support of our City’s challenge to UPMC’s status as purely public charity. They know that we need our largest landowner to contribute to city services, that we need our largest healthcare provider to give more care, and to care for everyone regardless of insurance, and that we need our largest employer to respect workers’ rights on the job.
Here’s a round-up of other elected leaders who are standing up to UPMC on behalf of the hardworking tax-payers, homeowners, small businesses and working people of Pittsburgh.
“The City of Pittsburgh is now taking an appropriate and long-awaited step forward in demonstrating that there will be consequences for mega-charities whose leaders do not meet the standards of a purely public charity.” – City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak
“As Controller, I see the impact on all of our City residents when Pittsburgh’s largest landowner, largest employer, and dominant health system doesn’t pay its fair share. We all pay the price in reduced City services and higher taxes on working families.” – City Controller Michael Lamb
“UPMC has been aggressive in buying hospitals and taking property off the tax rolls, paying its executives exorbitant salaries, and investing in overseas operations while taking advantage of lucrative tax exemptions that are supposed to be reserved for true charities. When UPMC doesn’t pay its fair share to support public services, every taxpayer ends up picking up the tab.” – PA. Democratic Party Chair Jim Burn
“A good first step” and “As mayor, I will continue challenging UPMC in court.” – City Councilman Bill Peduto
“The law requires that for entitlement to the tax exemptions that go along with being classified as a charity an organization must operate ‘entirely free of private profit motive.’ Its large size is not a reason to hold UPMC to a higher standard than other any other charity, but it is a reason to insist that UPMC live up to the same standards that the rest of charitable, non-profit organizations live by.” – State Rep. Erin Molchany
“Shutting out the competitor’s cardholders is an example of a business practice that is both unethical and inhumane. It is one of the most alarming things I have seen in all my years as a legislator. UPMC’s business practices are interfering with the health and safety of real people, people who we represent as elected officials. UPMC’s board and executive team have a mission, and a large part that mission is to provide care to those in need.” – State Rep. Anthony M. DeLuca
“Our state Supreme Court justices have been explicit that any organization seeking to make its property tax-exempt must put the interests of the community before its own bottom line. Many of my constituents have asked me the same question that Pittsburgh is asking today – is UPMC a somewhat public charity, a mostly public charity, or is it truly a purely public charity as our state constitution requires?” – State Rep. Dan B. Frankel
“Today we are taking on this issue directly. UPMC’s income is largely exempt from taxes. Yet, it is increasingly run like a for-profit company, paying its executives multi-million dollar salaries with perks, renting fancy offices and leasing corporate jets and helicopters, while jumping into new business activities, for-profit ventures, and overseas expansion.” – State Sen. Jim Ferlo
“Despite nearly one billion in profits over two years, UPMC pays many of its employees so little that they are forced to depend on public assistance to pay for basics like food and rent. And when UPMC workers speak out about improving their jobs, UPMC management tries to silence them. That’s not good for UPMC workers, and it’s not good for Pittsburgh’s middle class.” Pittsburgh City Councilman Daniel Lavelle
“Genuinely charitable nonprofit entities should enjoy the benefits of tax exemptions that are conferred under Pennsylvania law. But entities that comport themselves like for-profit businesses at virtually every turn in order to amass gigantic profits should not be able to shift their tax burdens to the hardworking residents of this County simply by calling themselves ‘charities’ and referring to their profits as ‘surpluses.’” – County Councilman John DeFazio
“I commend Mayor Ravenstahl and the city of Pittsburgh for challenging UPMC’s non-profit status and for bringing this issue before the Court to determine whether UPMC truly deserves its current non-profit status. UPMC should welcome the opportunity to provide transparency and prove to the public that they are truly non-profit, once and for all.” – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana
“This is about fairness for the average Pittsburgh citizen and small business owner, who shoulder a greater burden of taxation for those organizations who receive the privilege of a property tax exemption. They deserve to know that all organizations are paying their fair share and truly deserve their tax exemptions.” – County Controller Chelsa Wagner