WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Keokuk Area Hospital Seeks State Assistance

Keokuk, IA – Keokuk Area Hospital is applying for Iowa's Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit program.

The program is only available in several communities, including Keokuk, Fort Madison, and Burlington.

It allows a business or industry to keep some of the money it would normally have to pay the state in payroll taxes.

C.F.O. Wally Winkler says with roughly 500 employees, Keokuk Area Hospital could be eligible to keep around $1.25-million over five years.

Winkler says that money would be used to address a number of projects on the hospital's capital improvement list. They include electronic records systems, new hospital beds, parking lot improvements, and air-conditioning.

Winkler says utilizing these payroll tax dollars would allow KAH to use other funds on salaries and benefits.

He says almost all of the projects on the capital improvement list are there because of state or federal mandates. That means they must be done even if the payroll taxes are not available.

Winkler says without the state assistance, KAH would have to go project to project when funding comes available.

KAH would have to match the amount of withheld payroll tax dollars if its application is approved.

Winkler says the hospital must do more with less due to its financial difficulties. He says KAH is treating more patients with little or no insurance, which means less money coming back in reimbursements.