Letter to the editor: What is Verdant’s mission?

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Editor:

Property owners within Snohomish County Public Hospital District No.2 (also known as Verdant Health) have been saved from an increase in property tax for 2015. Verdant failed to file the necessary paperwork with the Snohomish County Assessor in time for the increased tax rate to be implemented. Fear not, the hospital commissioners plan to go ahead with increases for 2016.

Property taxes are used as collateral for general obligation bonds issued by the hospital commissioners. Previous bonds were paid off in 2012, but the commissioners then issued new bonds which will be paid off in 2020. Snohomish County Public Hospital District No.2 was established as a taxing district in 1962 to build and support the original hospital (Stevens). It is the lease of that tax supported hospital to Swedish/Edmonds in 2010 which generates the major portion of Verdant’s income of over $12 million annually.

The purpose of Public Hospital District No.2 (Verdant Health), according to the hospital commissioners, is to promote the health of residents living within the District. Does the purchase and renovation of a building at 4710 196th St. SW, Lynnwood at a cost of over $4.4 million promote health or is it empire building? Does the purchase of the Kruger Clinic promote health or is it empire building? Should property taxes continue to be assessed and collected when there is adequate income to promote health without using property tax income?

The Verdant Health website (verdanthealth.org) is not very transparent in providing financial data, but the staff (all six of them) is very helpful at 425-582-8600.

Mary Hovander
Edmonds

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