Boise Officials Snookered On Land Deal–Again

When Boise City officials quietly agreed to trade public land in the area of 27th and Fairview to a group of doctors last September, it triggered threat warnings on the GUARDIAN radar. The docs claimed they would build a “for profit hospital.”

The DAILY PAPER REPORTED this week the docs have dropped their construction plans in favor of joining forces with the non-profit St. Lukes Hospital. Details are sparse, but it looks like the non-profit hospital will own the place and “fold” the docs into their system.

This means the roughly 5 acre parcel will REMAIN OFF THE TAX ROLLS. Boise officials claimed the deal was clean when we sounded the alarm in September and noted the need to get the property “back on the tax rolls.” Right!

During a special reconsideration of the land swap, Councilor Alan Shealy noted the had a “business relationship” with some of the principals. He recused himself and acknowledged a conflict of interest, saying, “It wouldn’t take much for someone to connect the dots.”

We stridently voiced CONCERNS about the method of getting rid of the citizen’s land–making a land swap of the Fairview property for some questionable appraised desert land as well as the foothills police shooting range. They relied on four year old notices, hearings, and surplus property declarations as the authority to make the trade.

Repeated requests for official comment from City Hall have been ignored this week. On KBOI radio Friday, Team Dave’s captain, Mayor Dave Bieter, begged the question about the non-profit status of St. Lukes owning the land, calling the non-profit status “murky.” To his credit, Bieter noted the hospital is a major consumer of city services such as fire protection–without paying taxes.

In our opinion the city got snookered and another block of tax free land will be provided with city services at the expense of taxpayers.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. St. Lukes and St. Als are NPINO.

    Non-Profit In Name Only.

  2. What ever their skills may or may not include, with possible exception of Shealy, the mayor and the council are devoid of high end real estate skills. It is no surprise they snookered get every time they go into the ring with the big boise.

    They, and we, would be a lot better off if they would keep to the old axiom: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

    They should buy land if they need it. And they should sell land if they have extra. But, when they get fancy with all sorts of trades, swaps, discounts, rebates, yadda yadda, they get their pockets picked every time.

  3. Why is St. Luke’s status “murky”? And why are they NPINO? Non-profit does NOT mean that they are not businesses – they still need to make money. SL has over 7200 employees and SA has over 2700 – that’s 10,000 employees that need an income. I’d like to know why exactly you think they are NPINO

  4. I believe this has far less to do with anyone within the dominant paradigm being snookered, as much as alot of “wink-wink-nod-nod” by all involved to end run the citizens of Boise yet again.

    Ronald Reagan may have popularized the idea of “Plausible Deniability”; but Boise’s City Hall has refined it to an art form!

  5. St. Lukes will never develop any new medical facilities on that land. They just bought out their competition and are planning to re-sell the land to whom ever. (According to an insider) Just another tax exempt “not for profit” organizations making a killing in health care at the same time stifling growth, construction jobs, and not paying any taxes. And we wonder why health care is so expensive. Hospitals are in the real estate business not health care.

  6. Thats easy Autumn. They don’t pay taxes on the profits and land and equipment. No taxes! Non! Get it!

  7. Tom Anderson
    Apr 10, 2009, 3:06 pm

    Well Autumn… I would ask if the employees need such a HUGE income. I am friends with many St. Lukes workers who are swimming in cash while most everyone else in the valley is working for peanuts. The BIG hospital workers not only get FAT paychecks, but all manner of wonderful perks.

    I must point out however, that recently they have been starting to put the squeeze on employees, probably since a lot of medical bills are going unpaid. The most recent info is that the local hospitals are encouraging workers to take a lot more time off.

    From what I’m hearing, the Cut’em and Drug’em factories are starting to hurt just like everybody else.

  8. Autumn, are you having a tough time correlating “they still need to make money” and “non-profit in name only”? You pay taxes. The folks that own businesses in the city pay taxes. We all pay taxes. We get fire protection, police protection, street maintainance (Ok, maybe not that) So why should St. Al’s and St. Lukes not pay taxes? Is it because they are humanitarian christian efforts? Because if that is so, where are the nuns and priests that used to run them? Simply put, if they are in “business” to make money, they should be paying taxes just like everyone else!

  9. With regard to the downtown “for profit” hospital? Eventually, the dolts at City Hall will realize that they got “snookered” into a power play between some very influential “cutters” and the hospital. This was all a ploy to get Lukes, (or Al’s) to cave in on some demands for some newer equipment and a larger slice of the pie. Even when they (the dolts) realize it, they will certainly never admit it publicly! Yet another example of some truly moronic people running this city!
    KISS is absolutely correct. These jerks downtown aren’t any where near smart enough to play the game at these levels!

  10. Autumn….I wish I could work for a NON Profit that paid me over a MILLION dollars a year like Mr. Dahlberg. Even with all of the money that the hosptial “looses” (wink wink) on “giving away care” (wink wink) – they just bill those of us with insurance more – they still make” over $20 million a year to play with. When is the last time you look at their annual financial statements they fiel with the state. You might find them interesting.

    I agree with the point the the editor is making..the city roles over for anything. This is yet another deal that many on this blog predicted was a failed deal to start with.

    How much money we as tax payers loose because the city did not hold a public auction on the property? We will never know and the city will never care.

  11. I just did a public records request on a parcel in Caldwell. And unless I read the printout wrong St. Luke’s does indeed pay property taxes on this 117 acre parcel.

    EDITOR NOTE–The law requires property tax if it is NOT used for medical purposes. If they build a hospital as part of the St. Lukes system, it would probably be tax exempt. USE, not OWNERSHIP is the rule.

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