Monday, June 2, 2008

Drake Declines Portune's Tax Levy

Four years ago, Commission Phil Heimlich and COAST leader Christopher P. Finney exposed the profligate waste at Drake Center, raging out of control at $1 million per month in unnecessary taxpayer losses. Fortunately, they negotiated the sale of the property to the Health Alliance. A crucial part of that agreement with the County was that the Health Alliance would not seek renewal of the five-year levy when it expired in 2009.

Amazingly, over the past few months, Todd Portune and members of the County administration at his urging, pushed the Health Alliance and Drake to ask for a renewal or expansion of the levy anyway – at a cost to the taxpayers of between $12 and $20 million per year.

On May 29, the Health Alliance and Drake politely declined Mr. Portune’s generous offer of even more of your tax dollars with this letter.

“The taxpayers of Hamilton County owe a debt of gratitude to the Health Alliance for sticking to its promise upon the sale of Drake,” said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd. “Unlike the National Underground Freedom Center, which has repeatedly broken promises when it comes to tax cash, the Health Alliance has started a new trend away from unbridled greed when it comes to tax dollars.”
COAST condemns Todd Portune for this shameless attempt to re-instate a tax that has already been eliminated. The Health Alliance has now clearly indicated that the tax money is not needed to run Drake, which was COAST's position all along. The sale of Drake to the Health Alliance has saved the taxpayers more than $12 million per year. “That Commissioner Portune would want to un-do this is nothing short astounding and treacherous,” said Gloyd.

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