President & CEO, Hospital for Special Care, New Britain
To the Editor:
For more than 75 years, Hospital for Special Care has been a proud part of the New Britain community. We are the fourth largest long-term acute care hospital in the country and we are the only LTCH that treats adults and children.
Hospital for Special Care is opposed to the state budget proposal that would allow municipalities to collect a tax on our real property. We are a non-profit hospital and have the highest percentage (in excess of 70 percent) of Medicaid reliance in Connecticut. We are also the second largest private-sector employer in New Britain, bringing over 1,000 people into our city every day. Based on our current assessment and New Britain’s current mill rate of 50.50, Hospital for Special Care would owe $2,939,564 in property tax in 2017. That amount would cripple us both financially and operationally. We do understand that the current proposal would reimburse us more than the amount which we would pay out – but our fear is that such reimbursement payments would be subject to rescission, reduction and/or elimination in both future iterations of this biennial budget and (obviously) in future biennial budgets altogether. The simplest solution would be to leave the property tax exemption for hospitals as it is and to alleviate any perceived unfairness to municipalities via the already existing PILOT reimbursement program.
In a world in which government offers billions in tax breaks to for-profit corporations, we shouldn’t eliminate the small tax break we provide to a non-profit hospital that takes care of our state’s neediest patients.