UHS Vestal Denied Tax Exemption by Town
10/15/2012 (Updated 11:36:37 PM)(Source: Kate Thornton)
The dispute between United Health Services Hospitals, Inc. and the Town of Vestal over UHS's request for tax exemption is heading to court.
Vestal denied UHS's request for tax exemption on its newest hospital clinic on the Vestal Parkway across from Binghamton University. The town claimed UHS neglected to attend board meetings or hearings to answer the board's questions.
UHS is using its nonprofit status as the reason for the tax exemption.
The town is potentially missing out on a significant amount of tax revenue if the court rules in favor of UHS and grants its request for tax exemption.
Town Supervisor John Schaffer could not comment on the matter due to pending litigation.
But despite that, Schaffer said the board is on the right track towards a fiscal budget that would be at or below the 2% tax cap.
"Every member of the board every day is coming up with something... I get calls during the day from board members saying, 'I have an idea.' I write it down. I check with the lady in charge of the money, and we work the figures," said Schaffer.
Councilman Fran Majewski suggested consolidating the code enforcement department with Broome County. Majewski estimated it would save the town almost $300,000.
The town is currently facing a $260,000 deficit.
Schaffer said, although he applauds Majewski's thinking, he's not sure it could be done soon enough and there would have to be conversations between the board and Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.
Schaffer said the goal is to get the budget as close to the tax cap as possible without lay-offs.
Schaffered wants a general budget completed by October 29th.
A public hearing on the proposed budget will be November 7th.
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