• County probing UPMC's tax exemption


    PITTSBURGH - Allegheny County Council has begun scrutinizing the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's tax-exempt status, beginning with a raucous public hearing at which a UPMC attorney tried to defend the hospital network against critics.

    Some critics and council members said Wednesday that UPMC operates too much like a for-profit business and should pay $95 million in property taxes that it avoids because of its charitable status.

    But UPMC attorney W. Thomas McGough Jr. says the hospital network earns the exemption by offering more than $200 million in free or reduced-cost health care each year. He says the government would have to provide those services if UPMC did not.

    But some critics noted UPMC president Jeffrey Romoff earns $6 million and 22 other executives receive more than $1 million annually.

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