Further Critique of Jack Franks’ Plan to Send $100 Checks to Most, But Not All, Homeowners

Valley Hi Nursing Home fund’s cash on hand from FY 2006 through FY 2016 (projected). Over $41 million currently.

The $100 checks, said to be refunds of part of the almost $40 million surplus built up by past County Boards after the nursing home building bonds were paid off under the “If we don’t take it, we’ll lose it forever” mantra, received the following criticism from commenter “KnownExtremist” under the article:

More Thoughts on the Proposed Valley Hi Fund Surplus

There are a number of problems with this proposal, as appealing on the surface as it may be.

(1) The funds in the account are not really all from local property taxes. They represent the accumulated unused annual sums that weren’t needed because Tom Annarella was able to introduce better management and because a previous County Board decided to up the number of private pay and Medicare beds and not simply have Valley Hi be a Medicaid facility, without simultaneously reducing the annual tax levies. Therefore, the account balance represents a comingling of private, federal, state and local property tax dollars, so it is unclear if you can legally just take some of it and hand it back to local property owners.

(2) As property taxes are not paid for the current year but rather for the past year, people who have sold their property will not be getting the refund, which will be sent to the current owners who did not pay taxes on the property previously.

(3) Business and farms are apparently not included. This is a particular slap in the face of the farmers if that is the case.

(4) It will cost $44K to send out the checks, as opposed to having credits applied on future tax bills. Of course the latter approach will not help as much with the upcoming elections.

This needs to be thought through and not just rushed in time for the November election.


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