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No summary judgment on two former LGC subsidiaries

CONCORD — A state hearing officer declined to issue a summary judgment on whether two former New Hampshire Local Government Center subsidiaries will lose their quasi-government, tax-free status.

The Bureau of Securities Regulation has asked hearing officer Donald Mitchell to revoke the tax-free status enjoyed by HealthTrust and Property-Liability Trust, which administer health insurance, property coverage and workers’ compensation plans to public employees and member cities, towns and school districts.

The request was in response to a secret agreement reached in October and announced after — and in response to — a state Supreme Court ruling in January that upheld an August 2012 order that, in part, required Property-Liability Trust, also known as PLT, to return $17.1 million in subsidiaries provided by HealthTrust over the course of 12 years to prop up a money-losing workers’ compensation program.

A deal announced earlier this month would undo the secret agreement, which saw HealthTrust acquire all of the assets and liabilities of Property-Liability Trust. The so-called termination agreement calls for PLT to reacquire its assets and liabilities from HealthTrust and repay $17.1 million that had been taken from HealthTrust to subsidize a money-losing workers’ compensation program for more than a decade. HealthTrust plans to distribute the $17.1 million to its member communities and school districts.

But a hearing held last week found that, unlike motions indicating “no genuine issues of material fact,” the BSR and the insurance administrators had differences in their factual arguments, making a summary judgment “improper at this time,” Mitchell said in his ruling, which was issued Monday.

The sides differ on whether the $17.1 million transfer from PLT to HealthTrust should include a $1.7 million interest in the entities’ shared building in Concord and whether PLT effectively shut down when the secret agreement was announced and executed in January.

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