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Hospital District Budget Vote Disappointing

Tax revenue that ends up being a portion of the net-profit is excessive and irresponsible taxation!

Hospital District Budget Vote Disappointing

Hospital District Budget Vote Disappointing

The Pend Oreille Hospital taxing District (POHD) passed the maximum allowable operational budget increase of 3%, or, $33,401.00 upon the taxpayers in a 5-1 vote. Tax revenue that ends up being a portion of the net-profit is excessive and irresponsible taxation!

Bonner General Health (BGH), a separate “private” entity from the POHD, sharing all but one POHD Board Trustee, has the legal requirement as a “non-profit” to file a Form-990 annually, by May 15th. The Form-990 identifies BGH’s annual net-profit. The 2015 Form-990 was signed the day after the 2016 budget increase vote (July 2016), identifies net-profits of $1.28 million, $1.46 million and (2017’s unsigned Form-990) $.953 million in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. Bonner County Taxpayers paid $1.03 million, $1.07 million and $1.10 million in hospital tax in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. It’s disappointing that transparency of the 2015 and 2016 net-profit amounts have been withheld from the public and Trustees, in consecutive years prior to the budget increase vote!

Any claim to a reduced tax rate to the property owner was never presented on any POHD hand-out or as part of the POHD discussion. Given the fact that Bonner County property values increased due to an increase in resident population and/or current property improvements, there is more tax value to spread the budget costs across. Most if not all, Bonner County taxing districts will see the same effect of a maximum budget increase in a rising property value market…, a slightly lower tax rate.

State Tax Commission – Rule 803, offers the POHD a responsible tax implementation policy. The ability to retrieve last year’s unrealized tax increases, in the tax year subsequent to a budget deficit. Considering that the BGH CEO, Sheryl Rickard, has produced million dollar net-profits annually, which are subsidized by tax payments, it is only appropriate that a Motion was offered to amend the 3% increase ($33,401.00) to a 0% increase. The Motion received neither a second, nor a discussion. A responsible single “NO VOTE” on the 3% increase resulted! An opportunity to pass on taking the low hanging tax fruit was discarded quicker than one could say, “Eve… NO!”

Daniel Rose
Samuels

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