A rather straight forward business story in the DAILY PAPER got our attention last week with a look at the tax return of St. Luke’s “nonprofit” medical center.
The hospital has been buying up private, for profit medical practices at a rate bound to get the attention of taxing authorities and consumers alike. In the past two years the hospital has acquired several hundred doctors, bringing total staff docs to more than 300.
A good number of these private docs were paying taxes and the offices they owned also were subject to property taxes. Now, it is a mish mash of rental agreements and ownership–much of which is tax exempt.
St. Luke’s has been expanding throughout Idaho, acquiring not only private practices, but also public hospitals such as the one in Jerome. It has been common knowledge one of the primary methods of remaining “nonprofit” is to keep building. The medical outfit is now the largest private employer in the state and made $725 million in revenues with expenses of $680 million.
Those numbers would translate into a $45 million PROFIT in most businesses.
Past reports show various staffers and executives with compensation near or above $1,000,000 a year. The nonprofit also made loans of $1.7 million in fiscal 2009 to docs and paid out more than $700,000 in “retention bonuses.”
With the Presbyterian Church on State Street getting taxed for space it rents to the YMCA, it would seem appropriate for the County Commishes to revisit the tax exempt status afforded both St. Luke’s and the other Saint–Alphonsus. Hospitals, clinics, and nonprofit doctor offices are growing like convenience stores did in the 70’s and their property is not being taxed.
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