Not a Bad Idea, but Dumb
Yeah, well, while I’m not so sure that forcing hospitals to pay property taxes is such a good idea, RI Senator Harold Metts (D, Providence) has a point when it comes to universities:
“In 1989, it was estimated that 35 percent of the city’s taxable properties were owned by a few tax exempt institutions,” said Senator Metts. “That grew to 40 percent by 1997 and today’s estimates put the figure at around 48 percent or even higher. That means 100 percent of the property taxes are coming from 50 percent of the property owners, working-class homeowners. It’s not fair.”
Unfortunately, Metts seems to suffer from a common intellectual blindspot among those on the class-warfare Left:
“I am aware of the opposition this legislation will generate,” said Senator Metts. “I also firmly believe that not one tenured professor at Brown will suffer a pay cut if the school has to start paying taxes on the vast amount of property it owns. I firmly believe that not one executive at Rhode Island Hospital will suffer a pay cut if the hospital has to start paying its fair share to the city.”
Perhaps he’s right that not one tenured professor or hospital executive would suffer financially from the tax, but you could bet your bottom quintile that a significant number of low-to-midrange employees would find their jobs eliminated, and that clients, patients, and students across the socioeconomic spectrum would see their costs go up, with a bit of trickle-out inflation.
That said, I wholeheartedly endorse Metts’s plan as a first step in pushing delusional liberals toward their own epiphanies about the need for structural government reform in Rhode Island.