Merritt Mayor To Withhold Tax From Province Due To ER Closures
Merritt Mayor, Michael Goetz, is taking action amid the crisis of emergency room closures, which continue to affect health care in a number of BC hospitals. He plans to withhold tax money from the provincial government, to cover the days that the Merritt Hospital Emergency Department was closed.
“We pay this every year at the beginning of every year. For 2023 we already paid, but for 2024 we will recalculate the 365 days of the year that we pay our taxes, and then we will pull back the number of days we were closed because it was a service we didn’t get, or I would expect the government would credit us coming into the next year,” said Goetz.
“The staffing shortage that they say is the reason for these closures has to be addressed. All of these communities need emergency care,” said Merritt resident, Georgia Clement.
The BC Health Care Matters website says, “Very interesting approach. It’s certainly a way to keep pressure where it belongs, on the Prov govt. He is urging other Mayors to follow suit. The rational is – we pay the province for services every year, and we aren’t getting the services we pay for. Sound argument from that position.”