City of Nevada apologizes for sales tax mix up

The Nevada Regional Medical Center

The Nevada Regional Medical Center has struggled financially in the past but a 2017 partnership with Joplin’s Freeman Hospital has helped right the ship.

“They had just closed a year where they had lost six and a half million dollars. This past year two years later, that loss is down to 1.6 million and I’m proud to say over the last three months, they’ve actually broke even and made a little money,” said Freeman Health System Chief Financial Officer Steven Graddy.

And while things are looking up in 2020, the hospital still has one financial issue to deal with that’s beyond its control: delayed sales tax funds.

Back in August of 2019, Nevada voters voted for a half cent sales tax increase which would generate around $800,000 year for the hospital. That was supposed to go into effect at the start of the new year, but someone with the city forgot to inform the Missouri Department of Revenue.

“We estimate it was about $300,000 that would have helped if it did go into place in January, so it’s our hope that on April 1st it will go in. We’ll move forward. We’ll adjust, and we’ll look forward to the sales tax kicking in then,” said Graddy.

In an apology letter to the Nevada Regional Medical Center’s CEO, Nevada’s interim city manager said he took responsibility for the error and stated that paperwork had been filed to make the sales tax increase official.

In a statement provided to KOAM, a spokesperson for the Nevada Regional Medical Center said, “While the news of the delay in receiving city sales tax is unfortunate, the Nevada Regional Medical Center leadership team remain optimistic.”

And their partners at Freeman say that delay in funds won’t affect the quality of care in Nevada.

“It will impact our budget for this fiscal year but it will not delay or interfere with any services being offered at Nevada Regional Medical Center,” said Graddy.