St. Joe's assessed value rings in at $91.1 million

AP

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St. Joseph Regional Medical Center appears poised to become one of the largest property tax contributors in Nez Perce County as part of its transition to a for-profit business.

The hospital's assessed value was established at $91.1 million by the Nez Perce County assessor, which mailed the figure to St. Joe's late last week, according to Assessor Dan Anderson.

The Nez Perce County Treasurer's Office will use that number when it calculates the hospital's property tax bill during the first week of February, said Nez Perce County Treasurer Barbara Fry.

At $91.1 million, the hospital has the second-highest assessed property value in Nez Perce County, Anderson said. Clearwater Paper is paying $5.19 million in property taxes on an assessed value of $424 million for 2017, while Vista Outdoor has an assessed value of $88.5 million and is paying $1.14 million in property taxes.

Like any other property owner, St. Joe's can contest the amount of its assessment before the Nez Perce County Board of Equalization, which is comprised of the county's three commissioners. It next meets Jan. 29.

The hospital has not discussed contesting the assessment, said St. Joe's spokeswoman Christina Metcalf in an email.

Until this spring, St. Joe's was not subject to property taxes because it was part of St. Louis-headquartered Ascension Health, the largest nonprofit health care system in the United States.

That changed May 1, when St. Joe's was sold to RCCH HealthCare Partners for $109 million. RCCH HealthCare Partners in Brentwood, Tenn., is comprised of 16 regional health systems across 12 states. The company is a part of a fund of the multi-billion-dollar investment firm Apollo Global Management.

The assessed value and the purchase price are different for a variety of reasons, Metcalf said.

"The $109 million ... reflects inventory, supplies, good will and ongoing operations," she said. "An oversimplified analogy of the difference in the two figures would be the difference in price if you were buying a house that was empty versus buying a fully furnished house."

The $91.1 million assessed value includes 17 buildings and 25 lots, all of which are adjacent to St. Joe's structures and used primarily for parking.

The following properties are among St. Joe's holdings:

The main hospital building at 415 Sixth St.Pathologist's Regional Laboratory, which has a separate address from the hospital.A radiation oncology center at 504 Sixth St.A central energy plant.An oncology and Hematology Institute at 1250 Idaho St.St. Stanislaus ChurchAll Saints Catholic SchoolLewiston Medical Center, a clinic at 307 St. John's Way.The Chas Clinic at 338 Sixth St.Two warehouses on the 500 block of Snake River Avenue.Two homes on Normal Hill, one for Catholic sisters and another for medical providers who work at St. Joe's on a temporary basis.Two day care buildings in the 600 block of Sixth Avenue.A business office at 341 St. John's Way.The land where there is a vacant apartment complex that has no value because of asbestos contamination.

The assessed value of that real estate was determined by examining what it would cost to build the hospital new and the market value of similar hospitals in communities like Lewiston, Anderson said.

Large pieces of medical equipment are part of the assessed value, but not items that have a value of $3,000 or less such as furniture. And just like any other business, St. Joe's gets to deduct the first $100,000 worth of items in that category, Anderson said.

The assessor's office paid $48,100 for help from TEAM Consulting of Topeka, Kan., because that firm has experience doing assessed values of hospitals and the Nez Perce County Assessor's office had never previously set an assessed value for a hospital, Anderson said.

If the assessor's office needs help with the assessed value in the future, it will cost less since it will just be a matter of making adjustments, Anderson said.

"We've got the foundation of the hospital."

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Williams may be contacted at ewilliam@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2261.

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