Commissioners approve property tax exempt status for Blue Mountain Hospital
Nov 19, 2008 | 2510 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At the November 17 meeting of the San Juan County Commission, commissioners approved tax-exempt status for the Blue Mountain Hospital in Blanding. The facility, which is looking to open in 2009, faced a $38,855 property tax bill that was due this month.

The tax was based upon an assessed valuation of the facility at $2.3 million. In 2007, Blue Mountain Hospital paid $507 in property tax, based upon 8.67 acres of vacant land valued at $30,000.

County Assessor Howard Randall said that the not-for-profit hospital met the federal and state requirements for tax exempt status.

In other business, the commission approved the hiring of Krista Keyes as Monticello Librarian and approved a building permit for a residence and garage in Bluff.

The commission also discussed the renewal of the county insurance coverage for employees, and decided to renew the coverage changing the stop pay to $75,000 and also making changes to encourage the purchase of generic prescription drugs.

The commission also expressed concern over the 30 percent increase in administration fees and commented on plans to accept competitive bids in the spring.

Commissioners are concerned about more than $1 million in property taxes owed to local government entities by the Lisbon Valley Mining LLC, which operates the Lisbon Valley copper mill. Lisbon Valley has yet to pay nearly $900,000 in property tax from 2008 and an additional $281,033 in property tax that is due by December 1, 2008.

Commissioners have investigated a number of options to secure the property tax. The Lisbon Valley copper mine ceased operations and laid off more than 100 workers in early 2008. The mill is still extracting copper from the previously mined ore.

Lisbon Valley officials apparently secured contracts to sell large amounts of copper, but soon learned that the milling operation couldn’t keep up with the contract amounts. As a result, the company buys copper on the open market to meet the contract deliverables.

Copper is currently valued at roughly $1.65 a pound, down from a high near $4 a pound before the recent economic downturn.
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