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Your letters: Abatement creates unfair burden

This letter was submitted to the Wadena Pioneer Journal by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Wadena Pioneer Journal. To submit a letter, email editorial@wadenapj.com or mail it to Wadena Pioneer Journal, 12 Colfax Ave. SW, Suite #2, Wadena, MN 56482.

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This letter is in reference to the article in the Pioneer Journal on October 21 about the Tri-County Health Care tax abatement request.

"Tri-County Health Care presented their request for tax abatement on Aug. 31, 2021, which was 15 years at 100% abatement from the time the property began to be taxed, likely 2024. That's an estimated saving of about $1.5 million for them."

The public consensus was that they did not want to see their taxes increased because of this abatement, instead they wanted to negotiate a lesser abatement.

Councilman Bruce Uselman said, "The idea of giving a tax break to the hospital was not one he wanted to entertain as he said he knew widows and seniors struggling to keep their homes in the community. He felt that any extra tax on these community members was more than they could bear."

Councilman Gibbs also spoke at the meeting and said, "In his research, he could find no medical facility in Minnesota that has been given a tax abatement."

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"What the abatement committee came up with was an abatement lasting two years, 100% abatement for one year (2024) and 50% for the second year (2025). It was an abatement of about $150,000."

"This recommendation was not taken well by Tri-County Health Care representatives ..."

Every year I open my property taxes with some degree of trepidation. As a widow and a senior, my income is limited and an increase in taxes because of a tax break given to Tri-County Health Care is of great concern for me. Notice that Tri-County Health Care's request for abatement is for 15 years! If councilman Gibbs is correct in his research, no medical facility in Minnesota has been given a tax abatement. In my estimation, the Tri-County Health's request for abatement seems unfair to the people of Wadena, and a burden especially to lower income, elderly people, and widows.

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