In a recent letter to the editor, “Don’t let non-profits swallow neighborhoods," the authors criticize three "powerful" Davenport not-for-profit institutions.
It singled out Genesis Health System for building a welcome park at an intersection to help patients find the nearby campus, as well as its recent campus expansion.
As a taxpayer near Genesis East, I can tell you a small number of homes were purchased at fair market value from a few families to complete a $150 million IMPACT certified investment. Many in the neighborhood near Genesis East were overjoyed to have an offer on their home.
This is an effort to undermine the three largest not-for profits in Davenport, Genesis Health System, St. Ambrose University, and Palmer College of Chiropractic. While deterioration of neighborhoods is a serious concern, these institutions are among those who are effective in reversing it.
They are among our largest employers and offer well-paying jobs. They are major partners in community efforts and sponsor outstanding amenities.
These authors suggest a PILOT program, payment in lieu of taxes, should be examined. Apparently, the $30 million in uncompensated and reduced cost health care provided by Genesis annually, and the scholarships provided by Palmer and Ambrose aren't good enough.
Rather than criticizing organizations that already do more than their fair share and bring economic benefit, those who seek a PILOT program should consider partnering with them to build these neighborhoods and the taxable value of homes.
These not-for-profits also seek strong, safe, and beautiful neighborhoods for their employees, students, and neighbors.