There is a stealth campaign afoot in Maricopa County to raise your property taxes. While you have been lulled asleep watching gubernatorial candidates beat the tar out of each other and legislative candidates exclaiming they are the “mostest in the whole wide world” conservative, Maricopa County voters haven’t noticed the BILLION dollar property tax coming their way for Maricopa Integrated Health System.
Proposition 480 asks the voters for a 935 million dollar bond. Once you count interest that is roughly around 1.4 billion dollars that only the taxpayers of Maricopa County get to pay over 27 years for one hospital.
Although many of my friends are getting paid to pass this bond election, allow me to point to just a few reasons this is a bad idea.
One, Arizona just expanded its Medicaid population which was pushed by all the hospitals in Arizona and brings significant revenue to hospitals. Perhaps we should wait until all the evidence is in on how much more money Maricopa Integrated Health Systems has gained before we give them a billion dollars for more government healthcare.
Which brings me to point two. Have you seen government run healthcare lately? Ask a veteran how it is working out for them.
Three, part of the bond election is to completely demolish the old hospital and build a hospital with less beds. So you want me to spend a billion dollars on a smaller operation? Are you going to reduce the property tax you charge me now since the maintenance and operation of a newer facility should be at a lower cost? Oh, you didn’t know they are already taxing you for the hospital? Yes, that is in addition to the Medicaid expansion money going to them and the disproportionate share (more tax money) already going to them.
Four, Maricopa County is the only county in Arizona with a public hospital. Every other county has closed their hospital. Did they know something we didn’t? Are they sending their patients to us and having Maricopa County taxpayers pick up their tab?
Look folks, this is a BILLION dollars. The third largest tax increase in Arizona history. Maybe this is worth a little discussion? Interestingly enough, they have been working on this proposal for a year, but reached out to the business community AFTER the language was put on the November ballot. So much for wanting input. Luckily I get to give my input when I vote on Prop 480.