By Charles Boothe for Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — City and county leaders generally see the pending purchase of Bluefield Regional Medical Center (BRMC) by Princeton Community Hospital (PCH) as a positive change, but the City of Bluefield will be hit hard with the loss of tax revenue and is in the process of planning for a smaller budget.
“We do anticipate that this transaction will have an impact on the city’s budget,” Bluefield Mayor Ron Martin said. “In West Virginia, municipalities are funded in large part through a tax on businesses in the municipality, commonly called a ‘business and occupation tax’ or B&O.”
Martin said these taxes are not paid by tax-exempt non-profits, like PCH, but are paid by for-profit companies such as Tennessee-based Community Health Systems and its subsidiary, BRMC.
“We expect that, as BRMC transitions from for-profit to non-profit ownership, we will lose the B&O revenue we currently receive from BRMC,” he said, not yet specifying how much that will be. “We are not sure exactly when that will take place, but probably within the current fiscal year.”…