By James P. Regan

As published in GlobeSt. com, January, 2004

In most jurisdictions an apartment building will be taxed much lower than a nursing home.  The skilled medical services offered in a nursing home, and the need for twenty-four hour supervision of patients create properties subject to significantly higher property taxes.
Recently, assessing authorities have begun to characterize assisted living facilities for seniors as nursing homes, thus unreasonably increasing their taxes.  The problem lies in a complete misunderstanding of what assisted living facilities are.  They are first and foremost residential buildings with self-contained living units.  The residents lease their apartments and then contract for basic services that help them to live independently.  Among the basic living services available are weekly housekeeping, linen service, laundry service, health and exercise programs, and transportation.
Under no circumstances should the supportive living features of an assisted living apartment building for seniors be misconstrued to place another financial burden on the elderly.

James P. Regan is the managing partner of the Chicago law firm of Fisk Kart Katz and Regan, Ltd., the Illinois member of American Property Tax Counsel (APTC), the national affiliation of property tax attorneys.