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Halting Bed Tax

Saturday, April 24 2010 7:40 AM

WICHITA, Kan., April 24, 2010 . . . Larksfield Place is joining many other not-for-profit Kansas senior living communities that are contacting Kansas Legislators with a "No, Thank You" to the Kansas legislature's proposed nursing home bed tax - Senate Substitute for HB 2320. If passed, the bill would place a disproportionate tax burden on a small percentage of Kansas senior citizens.

Larksfield Place community members are adding their voices to many others from across the state and will be contacting lawmakers through a letter writing campaign, which will also include e-mails and phone calls. People who would like to share their concern for Kansas seniors are invited to join the event, which will be held on Tuesday, April 27, from 2 to 4 p.m., in the auditorium at Larksfield Place, 7373 E. 29th St. North.

Since the Kansas Legislature reconvenes on April 28, Larksfield Place community members and leaders are eager to have their opinions heard before the lawmakers have to reconcile the budget.

The Impact

"We understand that Kansas lawmakers are dealing with the difficult task of balancing a budget in a complex economic climate," said Valerie McGhee, Larksfield Place president and CEO. "However, Kansas has many other options to explore instead of levying a tax exclusively on the elderly who live in Kansas nursing homes. This new tax would result in private pay nursing home residents exhausting their own funds faster and might very well increase the number of people on Medicaid."

McGhee added, "In Kansas, roughly 37 percent of nursing home residents pay for their own care. There are 22,000 licensed beds in the state. So that means you are asking about 8,400 Kansans on fixed incomes to shoulder the $30 million Medicaid burden so that the rest of us can save $10 a year in taxes. That hardly seems fair."

Debra Zehr, president/CEO of the Kansas Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, which represents not-for-profit long term care providers around the state, says of Larksfield Place's efforts, "The nursing home bed tax is an unfair, unnecessary, short-sighted way to fund a societal obligation. We are glad that Larksfield Place and others who care for and about frail, older Kansans are stepping up to advocate on their behalf."

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