Southampton Memorial Hospital now officially tax-exempt

Published 6:08 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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Franklin’s City Council voted unanimously Feb. 22 to formally grant tax-exempt status to Southampton Memorial Hospital, now that it’s owned by Bon Secours Mercy Health Franklin LLC.

In October 2019, Bon Secours — a nonprofit Catholic health system headquartered in Maryland — purchased the hospital from Community Health Systems Inc., a for-profit entity that had been paying the city roughly $400,000 in taxes per year.

According to City Manager Amanda Jarratt, the tax-exempt status only applies to the hospital building, parking lot, and equipment inside the building. The total assessed value of this real estate is roughly $19.3 million, which resulted in the city receiving nearly $200,000 at the end of fiscal year 2019-2020.

A public hearing on the matter held prior to the vote drew only one speaker, Kim Marks, who served as chief executive officer of the hospital when it was owned by Community Health Systems and has retained her leadership role as president under Bon Secours.

“Thank you for working with us on this; we certainly appreciate it,” Marks said.

The additional medical office buildings and parking lots located adjacent to the hospital are not eligible for tax-exempt status, Jarratt said.