Letter to the Editor: Why the Verdant Health Commission continues to collect taxes

1045
0

Dear Editor:

We thought it would be helpful to provide information about Verdant Health Commission’s funding sources and purpose based on a recent letter to the editor. The Hospital District’s revenue is currently a combination of rental income, interest income on reserves and tax revenue. There are several reasons why Verdant Health Commission is continuing to collect tax revenue.

First, the levy revenue secures the District’s bonds. This levy is collateral for the 2012 Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds. As Verdant paid off prior bonds, the money collected from the District has been reduced from $4.19 million to $2.16 million. If the District repealed its levy, it would be required to pay off the bonds in full ($5,160,000), including an early payoff penalty. The interest rate is approximately 1.65% on these bonds, which come due on December 1, 2020. These bonds cannot be refinanced at a lower rate without levy.

Second, the taxpayers’ continued investment into this District reinforces the public ownership of the hospital campus and the mission of the Hospital District. The $2.16 million annually collected is leveraged by another $9.75 million in lease revenue, strengthening the work we’re able to do addressing health and wellness needs of our community. The actual cost equates to $0.09 per $1,000 of assessed value, or roughly $29.20 annually for a $300,000 home. Another way to think of it is $11 per person, per year. We encourage the public to look at the programs Verdant has supported and/or created and feel confident that that small amount is worth it for the community.

Lastly, to protect and preserve our community hospital, the District has a target for reserves of $40 million, and it plans to reach that figure by 2020. This is the amount necessary to operate the hospital for at least sixty days should a catastrophe occur.

Outstanding bonds will be repaid in the year 2020. The publicly elected Board of Commissioners may at that time reconsider the tax collection. Thank you for your interest in Verdant Health Commission.

Sincerely,

Fred Langer
Board President
Verdant Health Commission

Leave a Reply