The Chamber was one of over 40 people testifying to Council regarding the potential impacts of the new B&O tax on non-profit healthcare providers. While the vast majority of those testifying were opposed to the motion, the change did move forward. As many councilmembers expressed their regret over the tax and the anticipated impacts they acknowledged that there are no easy solutions to the current budget crisis.
However, before passing the tax, the Council did exempt those non-profit healthcare providers with revenues less than $30M. Further, they decided against moving forward on a $3.8M tax, instead holding the line from the prior week at about $900k. While this is higher than the $600k initially proposed in November and higher than having no tax at all, it saves these organizations $2.7M that can instead be reinvested in the community - with the other non-profit healthcare operating margins.
As we see local tradespeople being employeed in the contstruction of the new facilities at St. Joseph's Hospital or local women being served with preventive screening at the Carol Milgard Breast Center, we must remember that these opportunities are funded with the non-profit healthcare industry's operating margins.
Thank you to those Chamber members helping out on this issue with letters, testimony, and phone calls. As the business community speaks together, their voice can be heard. For more on this issue, please see The Chamber's letter to the City.