Letters to the Editor

Hospital taxes are piling up | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

While waging the Whidbey General Hospital bond campaign, Trish Rose, hospital marketing/public relations director, often states, “The bond for the new inpatient wing is 34 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This 34 cents plus the ongoing 9 cents per $1,000 that supports the M&O levy results in taxpayers providing a total of only 43 cents per $1,000 to support our local hospital system. An average home on Whidbey, valued at $252,000, currently pays $53 a year to support the hospital. If the bond is approved, that property owner’s contribution would become $108 annually.”

If you use the levy data from the county assessor’s office and CEO Tom Tomasino’s presentation, you will find that this taxpayer with the $252,000 home will be taxed $234 to support the local hospital system.

Trish has conveniently left out the fact that the hospital district has three levies, not two. She hasn’t told you about the district’s 50¢/$1,000 EMS levy.

Why would she avoid telling you this? Well, it could be that it puts the WGH district tax burden, 93¢/$1000 levy rate, at a dollar amount twice that of Skagit Valley or Island hospitals.

In fact, the WGH district levies take more dollars than the Skagit Valley and Island hospitals combined.

But why clutter the taxpayers’ minds with information such as that? Ms. Rose could have documented the district’s tax burden from all three levies and presented why she sees the services as being worth the cost. Instead, she chose to withhold information. She’s earned my NO vote for the bond.

Tom Leahy

Freeland

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