Legislators call for repeal of hospitals tax

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Greenwich delegation unanimously supports the bill to phase out the hospitals tax.

This tax places unnecessary burdens on our hospitals. By repealing it, we can alleviate these burdens and enable hospitals to reduce the costs of health care, improve access to services and retain jobs. Quality healthcare is a top priority for all of us in Connecticut and our hospitals are the cornerstone. By reducing their financial burden, they can better service all of those seeking their expert care.

As a delegation we have asked the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee to raise this bill at the start of the legislative session due to the many burdens Greenwich Hospital faces from the hospitals tax. In this fiscal year the estimated net payment from Greenwich Hospital to the state will total $10.6 million and this payment will only continue to grow unless the tax is eliminated.

Although the tax was originally intended to collect and redistribute funds, hospitals are getting back very little in return for paying the state a total of $349.1 million annually. At a recent hearing, Greenwich Hospital President Frank Corvino said that the hospital industry suffered from last year’s budget cut. He said this year Yale New Haven Hospitals, which includes Greenwich Hospital, face a $52-million reduction and in 2015 will pay over $75 million in taxes.

We do not want to see hospitals forced into positions where patient care is impacted. This bill would implement a gradual elimination of the tax beginning in fiscal year 2015, until fiscal year 2019 when the tax will be completely eliminated.

In fiscal year 2015 the amount due from each hospital would be 80% of the hospitals tax paid during fiscal year 2012. In each subsequent year, it would continue to decrease by 20% until there is no tax to pay. This is a cautious, measured and prudent way to eliminate a tax that has hurt the delivery of healthcare services in our state.

By eliminating this tax, hospitals could apply the funds saved towards new advancements as well as towards maintaining and growing jobs.

 

L. Scott Frantz
Livvy Floren
Stephen Walko
Fred Camillo

 The authors are the members of Greenwich’s delegation to the Connecticut General Assembly.

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