7/18/17

Paying for the nursing home

The Buxton study, or survey, of The Smile Hi's 'consumers' shows that 49% of retail dollars come from tourists; 14% come from 'regional visitors;' and 37% come from residents. They derive their 'trade area' consumer profile through a 25 mile drive time, which is not particularly well-defined. Is this where they find their 'residents' and 'regional visitors?'

One presumes that 'tourists' would be from all over.

In any case, when it comes to funding the nursing home through sales tax revenue, we have 37% of the cost funded by local residents, Smile Hi people, with 63% of the funding coming from tourists - people who ain't from around here - and 'regional visitors,' whatever that means. Swinkians? Fowlerians? Las Animatians? Anyone within a 25 mile drive time who is not a resident of the Smile Hi?

However that is figured, the bottom line seems to be that with a 1% sales tax to fund the nursing home,  63% of the funding burden for the Smile Hi nursing home would come not from Smile Hi residents, but from people not from around here.

So the 1% sales tax seems to be a good way to not only pay for the nursing home, but to get someone else to pay for most of it.

Am I missing something here?

My understanding of the nursing home plot is that a 'health district' would be established. A board of directors, presumably elected in accordance with the statutes governing Colorado's special districts, would govern the nursing home.

The health district would hire workers to staff the nursing home.

This would function much in the same way as the rural fire district. The fire district, as you know, charges for ambulance and other services. A nursing home would also charge for services. Whether the charges would fully defray operating expenses is another story.

Given that, it makes little sense to sunset a 1% sales tax established to first pay off the bond required to construct the nursing home, and then ... to help with operating expenses. Maintenance. Upkeep. Repairs. And so on. Fees for nursing home services could, at least in theory, be kept lower if maintenance-related costs were not included because of a form of subsidy through a continuing sales tax.

It's completely unknown at this point whether or not the nursing home could pull in enough to defray costs. Of course, that could easily be addressed by simply upping the fees to make sure that such costs are covered, in which case there would be no need for a continuing sales tax once the bond is retired.

Of course, residents of the Smile Hi could simply refuse the sales tax altogether at the next election, in which case there would be no nursing home. Where that leaves grammy and gramps then becomes moot.

There would be no 'for-profit' company operating the nursing home. If a 'for-profit' could run a nursing home at a profit, there'd be some interest in that. So far, there is not. Does this sound familiar? It should. Think of the grand scheme of the Kit Carson Hotel.

Am I missing something here?

And there's still the matter of dog ordinance violations. That could be simply and easily addressed. Just find out which council member has the most dogs, add one more to that number, and then re-write the ordinance to cover that.