2 nursing homes take legal action to cut assessments

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 September 2015 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center, which became privately owned on Jan. 1, was added to the tax rolls for the first time this year at a $6,618,900 assessment. Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services LLC wants the assessment reduced to $2.5 million.

The two nursing homes in Orleans County have both taken legal action, seeking big drops in their assessments. If the challenges are successful, local governments could see more than $100,000 less in tax revenue with each site.

The owners of Orchard Manor in Medina are seeking the biggest reduction as a percentage. The 160-bed facility is assessed at $4.1 million. The owners, Global Health Care, say the assessment should be $410,000.

The former county-owned nursing home is now privately owned by Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services LLC. The company paid $7.8 million on for the 120-bed Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center on Route 31 in Albion.

The property went on the tax rolls for the first time this year with a $6,618,900 assessment. Comprehensive is challenging that assessment, filing legal papers saying it should be valued at $2.5 million.

There is a lot of tax revenue at stake if the properties are reduced in assessment. The issue will go before James Punch, acting State Supreme Court judge in Orleans County.

Global Health Care purchased Orchard Manor Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on Bates Road in 2012 from Medina Memorial Hospital. The site sold for $4.1 million. That has been the assessment since going on the tax rolls for the first time in 2013. That site is located within the Village of Medina.

Global Health pays about $225,500 in property taxes with a combined tax rate of about $55 per $1,000 of assessed property. That includes $70,233 to the Village of Medina, which has a $17.13 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed property.

If Global Health is successful in reducing the assessment to $410,000, it would pay a tenth in taxes what it does now or $22,550, with the village getting about $7,000 instead of $70,233.

The local taxing entities, led by the Town of Shelby, are discussing the legal battle for the assessment, trying to pool their resources in defending the higher assessment. Shelby is organizing the joint municipal effort because the town is responsible for assessing the property.

The former county-owned nursing home sits just outside the Village of Albion and doesn’t pay village taxes.

Comprehensive pays a combined tax rate of about $33 to the school district, town, county, library and for fire protection. At a $6,618,900 assessment, the tax bill for the nursing home is about $220,000 a year. If Comprehensive can reduce the assessment to $2.5 million, it would pay about $82,500 in taxes, less than 40 percent of the current tax bill.

Both nursing home owners filed complaints with the Board of Assessment Review, and those boards backed the levels set by the local assessors. Now, the issue will go before Judge Punch in State Supreme Court.