Letter to the Editor: Questions about Verdant Health Commission property tax

Dear Editor:

Recent publicity noting the opening of the Verdant Commission’s new building on 196th Street SW, Lynnwood did not mention in full how the Verdant Commission is funded. Verdant collects property tax from an area that is essentially the same as the geographic boundaries of the Edmonds School District plus an additional section along the southeast boundary.( map available at verdanthealth.org) Property taxes for 2015 will be increased by 2.155% resulting in tax income for the Verdant Commission of $2,185,157 along with additional tax revenue based on new construction.

The 2015 Verdant budget shows operating revenue from rental and lease sources at more than $11,680,000 for the year. Verdant also has an investment portfolio of over $29 million as of September 2014 which should generate additional revenue. Verdant says it is a non-profit organization, so why should the commissioners of Snohomish County Public Hospital District No 2 who operate the Verdant Commission also levy property taxes on the residents of the District?

The Verdant Commission was established by the five elected commissioners of Snohomish County Hospital District Number 2 following the 2010 lease of Stevens Hospital to Swedish/Edmonds.The Commissioners are no longer responsible for the day to day operation of the hospital. Verdant holds monthly board meetings on the 4th Wednesday at 8am at the Verdant Community Wellness Center, 4710 196th St SW in Lynnwood. Board meetings are open to the public.

With such a large income base, the Verdant Commission should be able to continue its health promotion activities without utilizing property tax revenue and I urge others who live in the Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and Woodway communities to investigate and make your views known to the elected commissioners.

Mary Hovander

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