Letters to the Editor

Whidbey General Hospital pays more in dollars

In Whidbey General Hospital’s bond campaign the hospital’s Tom Tomasino and Trish Rose have been telling us that we have the lowest levy rate when compared with Skagit Valley and Island (Anacortes) hospitals. But we don’t pay our taxes by sending in a rate to the treasurer; we use dollars. If the proposed bond levy was in effect this year the comparisons of tax dollars collected for the three hospital districts would show Whidbey property owners paying the most.

For the year 2011:

• Whidbey Island Hospital, assessed value $9.71 billion, levy rate 43 cents per thousand, taxes paid $4.2 million.

• Skagit Valley Hospital, assessed value $4.12 billion; levy rate 99 cents; taxes paid $4.1 million.

• Island Hospital, Anacortes, assessed value $4.7 billion, levy rate 65.5 cents, taxes paid $3.1 million.

Even though Tom presents a slide touting our having the lowest levy rate of five area hospitals, we’d be paying the highest amount of tax dollars of the five. In fact Whidbey Island taxpayers would be paying more for hospital services than Skagit Valley, Cascade, Olympic, Island, Valley, Jefferson General and United General hospitals.

Furthermore Tom and Trish only use two of the three hospital levies for their comparisons. There is also an unmentioned 50 cent per $1,000 Hospital EMS levy. With the bond’s passage our tax levy rate would be 93 cents per $1,000, a tax bill on Whidbey property owners of $9 million. That is double the tax dollars paid to either Skagit Valley or Island hospitals.

I’m not saying that this amount is abusive or a bargain but it is clear that Tom and Trish do not trust you to make your voting decision based on all the information. During this campaign WGH leadership has proved itself deceitful and unworthy of voters’ trust.

Tom Leahy

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