By Roger Gitlin – March 27, 2021
The March 23 post in the Lost Coast Outpost about the tragic psychiatric impact on Del Norte County impacting Emergency Room services at our local hospital was revealed at a recent Board of Supervisors Meeting. Mr. Hanna was boo hooing his problems to the Supervisors, beseeching the Board to pony up funding for a Crisis Stabilization Center at Sutter…and of course, the County has ZERO money for such a robust effort.
Did I miss something?
Effective this Thursday, April 1, the County starts collecting a 14% increase in General Sales taxes to 8.5%.
Projected income from this gouge is estimated to be $1.2 million. You can thank Supervisors Howard and Hemmingsen and soon to exit CAO Sarina for their “leadership” on that $$ grab.
It’s a little challenging for me to feel sorry for either Sutter Coast or the painfully bereft Board of Supervisors to feel empathy for either.
Sutter, a so-called not for profit hospital, part of the 24 unit Not for Profit multi billion $$ health megolith pays virtually zero $$ in property taxes to Del Norte County. Truth be told, most of you folks who are individually paying your second property tax installment next week will pay significantly more than Sutter Coast pays in property taxes.
Allow me to remind Sutter of it’s legal responsibilities. CEO Hanna claims Sutter Coast is NOT responsible for the mental health care of these psychiatric patients occupying beds in the Emergency Room, shirking its responsibility to the County. NOT true! According to the Hospital’s own Articles of Incorporation, Sutter Coast is responsible ” …to provide for diagnosis and treatment for its patients…” . The Articles also require the Hospital to provide services for “…the betterment of the the General Health of Community. “The Articles do not provide an exemption for mental health patients.
Maybe it’s just me but I would think the Sutter Coast exemption of a property assessed at approximately $36 million could pay it’s fair share of property taxes.
OR maybe the County can raise the sales taxes another 14% to 9.5%. Then Del Norte can hang with the “big boy” counties in the Golden State.
And a sober reminder. Director Heather Snow of the DN Department of Health and Human Services continues to fail to hire a County-provided psychiatrist.