Dear Editor,

A regressive tax is one that puts an unfair burden upon citizens who do not have the resources.

I learned this at Highland College for 16 years. I have been questioned why this took so long? Just a slow Norske learner!

Mr. Marzen was taxation instruction and was outstanding in all taxation classes with great amounts of class involvement. All forms of taxes — sales tax, income taxes, excise tax, property taxes — were well covered, even form 990 for non-profits.

All the instructors were great! Like Walter T. Yost, the Kansas Artist of the Year and Ken Babcok, ecology teacher.

The hospital’s IRS Form 990 for 2018 reported that 19 percent of Brown County lives in poverty! Three past hospital board members told me that a large amount of yearly losses were caused by citizens unable to pay balance due on bills because of deductibles and co-insurance.

This sales tax will increase the amount of unpaid bills! How is this going to help? The projected $700,000 sales tax is only 2.6 percent of revenue. Any business should be able to handle less than 3 percent without tax entanglements, just as Dr. Paul Conrad set out over 70 years ago.

Dr. Conrad was killed in the Burr Oak plane crash in May 1949. A total of five Hiawatha citizens died in this crash. Dr. Paul Conrad practiced medicine on the second floor of the current Rainbow building (across the street from the city Clock Tower for 25 years without a local hospital).

It has been said to forget the past! WRONG! the past is a set of principles such as the American Revolution, the Constitution and the Ten Commandments! Much of this has been left in the past and we are all paying a heavy price for forgetting!!

If we do not stand by our principles, we will fall for anything. Good will always win, not when we want it or need it, but it will always win at the end of time!

A total lack of openness is still at our hospital. The board was never intended to self-perpetuate! (such as naming your successor!) Wrong. The original board was named by the donors and to be redone every 3 years. Our hospital does not belong to the board or CEO or the providers. But to the public!

No regressive sales taxes! Our hospital will live!

Dean Tollefson


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