Dayton’s declining revenue and rising costs: one solution: tax hospitals

The City of Dayton, like every other business in the United States has been getting hit with increasing health insurance premiums to cover their employees. In fact, the major sticking point in most negotiations with the unions involves the costs of health insurance.

Facing declining revenues, the City Manager has been working at decreasing the workforce, with the latest round including taking people from full-time to part-time and cutting health insurance benefits:

Overall, city revenue in 2008 fell 2.9 percent from 2007, more than a $5 million drop in a year.

• Income tax revenues declined 2.1 percent or $2.3 million, reflecting a decline in the local job base.

• Property tax revenues fell 2.9 percent or $331,761.

• Investment earning declined by 31.2 percent or $1.8 million in 2008, compared to 2007.

• Local government funds from the state dropped $806,600 for 2009….

His solution: Maintenance employees won’t lose their jobs. They will work fewer hours, have their pay drastically cut and they will pay more for health insurance.

via City Manager: Some Dayton workers face pay cuts.

A possible partial solution is  to turn the tables on the health care industry. No more tax abatement for Premier Health Partners or Kettering Health Network. You can’t keep doing business the same way it’s always been done in times like these, and if these “not-for-profit” organizations can pay their exec’s millions of dollars a year and continue to build and grow at astonishing rates, it’s time that they started paying their way.

The moment they try to make the argument that they provide a vital public service, remind them that police, firefighters, sewer workers, water department workers do too. How about in exchange for tax abatements, they provide free health care to their fellow “vital public service” providers (police, firefighters, sewer workers, water department workers, etc.) and remove a major point of cost and contention in contracts between the city and its workers? Also remind them that 3 stitches for a taxpayer shouldn’t cost $1,400.

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10 Responses

  1. Gene March 27, 2009 / 10:13 am
    Cut services, fire incompetent government employees, and decrease pay for over paid government staff and you will have plenty of money.

    10% pay decrease across the board.

  2. Gene March 27, 2009 / 10:57 am
    take 10% off across the board on welfare and social security – if we ALL have to sacrifice.
    We all could spend 10% less per week, eat 10% less, etc……

    10 % reduction and we would have plenty of cash.

  3. Larkin March 27, 2009 / 11:05 am
    If you tax hospitals, they will simply pass the costs on to their patients, and they’re already plenty rapacious. Also, isn’t the rationale for the development of the Greene and Fairfield Commons and all those other repulsive developments chalked up to having to pay less tax outside the Dayton city limits? At least we have some hospitals in the city . . . David, you’re running for office, try to be more cagey, would you, lol.
  4. Gene March 27, 2009 / 11:21 am
    Yes, the repulsive developments that provide jobs located where they did bc of tax incentives and such………

    Dayton did not, would not, could not compete with a tax break mentality. See how successful the city is now.

  5. David Esrati March 27, 2009 / 11:24 am

    @Larkin- then it’s time to pursue them with anti-trust legislation. It’s already bad enough that they don’t present estimates of cost before delivery of service.
    The two-level pricing- one to insurance companies and one to the general public must stop.
    You have any better answers?
    And- I doubt they will be willing to move en-masse. They have a pretty large investment in the facilities. I’d also make sure they are taxed everywhere in the County- this isn’t just a Dayton thing.

  6. Gene March 27, 2009 / 11:33 am
    Why TAX the patient, why not decrease pay and services of city and county employees as well as teachers and staff bc we all have to sacrifice. Or is it that you only want certain people to sacrifice, like people using the hospital?

    Sacrifice is a big word that is thrown around by those who don’t want to do it. I will sacrifice 15% across the board for the rest of the year and what I save I will donate to the shelter. Anyone else in?

  7. Dad March 27, 2009 / 3:53 pm

    I think this headline hurts you more than it will ever hurt any hospital. You do not mean what the headline says, i.e., taxing hospitals. What you mean is that you want to stop their tax shelters.

    The “world-famous” Cleveland Clinic once had a hospital next door called the Clinic Inn. The top floors were reserved for the king of Saudi Arabia and his retinue.

    The Arabs made just one demand on the Clinic: No blacks were to come into contact with this Royal Bigot, in an area of Cleveland that was 100% black and with a hospital that had no emergency ward (at least none that anyone knew about).

    Unfortunately for this giant of the hospital biz, the area was represented in City Council by the powerful George Forbes, who also happened to be Council President. Forbes hit the roof. The Clinic Inn was torn down (the site now has an Inter-Continental) and the Clinic actually set up an outpatient department to serve its neighborhood.

    I guess his Majestic Intolerance now has to put up with whoever the hotel sends up to his suite, but I have not see his green flag flying in front of the hotel. Maybe he has found a more welcome hospital someplace else, where open bigotry is encouraged.

  8. Tammy March 28, 2009 / 8:27 am
    Hi Dave… This is exactly why I hope you get into a public office… You make and take the time to research things like this….. keep on top of it all…. and inform a hopefully growing population of what you find out…. Thanks…
  9. David Esrati March 28, 2009 / 1:27 pm

    Thanks for the support Tammy. I’m working hard to bring a different kind of communication and relationship between the people and the people chosen to represent the people.

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