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Galena Hospital Applies to Become Tax Exempt - KOAM TV 7

Galena Hospital Applies to Become Tax Exempt

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CHEROKEE COUNTY, KANSAS -

As the sign reads the Premier Surgical institute is proudly owned by the city of Galena. But with the hospital applying to go tax exempt and non profit it could mean a pinch for Galena and Cherokee County.
"The hospital's evaluation makes up 38 percent of the tax base of the city of Galena..now any time you exempt 38 percent of your tax base the rest of the property owners who do pay taxes will just have to make up the difference" says the Cherokee County Appraiser, Mark Hixon.
The county appraiser says the Galena school district would lose over 300 thousand dollars.
"All of the tax payers in Cherokee County..whether you live in Galena or 499 school district will see about a 6 percent increase" says Hixon.
Since the mayor of Galena won't be in office around the time of the possible tax exemption, he's been warning his council members to start getting projects like road work done right now while they still have money, rather than risking not being able to later.
But the mayor still see's the possible tax exemption as a way of supporting the 4 States. 
"The hospital doesn't print money, it comes from the patients, so we feel like we could actually lower the price that the customers have to pay for their services and have a better chance of maintaining the current level of services we currently provide" says Galena Mayor Dale Oglesby.
But it's not ultimately up to any of the leaders in the county.
"The Kansas Board of Tax Appeals is the only one who has the authority to grant the exemption" says Hixon.

The application is still being processed by the Kansas Board of Tax Appeals, the mayor says there is no set time line on when a decision will be made. 

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