Skip to Content

Goldwater Institute tax lawsuit with Yuma County in court

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Goldwater Institute tax lawsuit with Yuma County was being heard at the Maricopa County Superior Court Friday.

Goldwater filed the complaint in December saying Yuma County Hospital District No. 1 illegally imposed hospital tax on residents without them knowing and used the money to pay for their own legal fees.

"We’re challenging a special tax imposed by the Hospital District in Yuma County which was unlawfully imposed without voter approval," said Goldwater Staff Attorney John Thorpe. "The law is clear. Any taxes in support of the Hospital District must be put to the voters and approved at election first."

The lawsuit accuses the Yuma County Hospital District of bypassing voters to go straight to the Board of Supervisors for the past three years.

Supervisor Tony Reyes clarified that the Board of Supervisors does not get a say in how high or low the tax rates are.

“We don’t have a choice. We have to set those tax rates as they come and we don’t get involved in ‘okay it’s too much or it’s too little.' We just respond by setting the rates. We just set the rates," said Supervisor Reyes.

The County Supervisors approve the Hospital District property taxes, which has had ongoing lawsuits with the Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC).

YRMC said that they asked the district to provide reimbursement statements of their legal bills, but says the receipts have information crossed off or the district doesn't answer questions about it.

I received a statement from YRMC saying, "Yuma Regional Medical Center played no role in the Hospital District’s taxation has not received any tax dollars as a result of it."

"Goldwater’s position is simple. No tax can be imposed for the hospital district without voter approval," said Thorpe. "It’s not that the tax itself is a good or bad thing or how voters should decide how the matter is put to them. It’s simply that they have a right to decide."

Attorney Thorpe said he hopes the judge makes a decision soon and that taxpayers get their money back.

"At this point, we’re asking for two things. We’re asking for a refund of the money that our client is paid under the illegal tax," explained Thorpe. "We’re also asking for a declaration from the court that the tax is unlawful to provide clarity to our client, to the residents of Yuma County, and to the government that they can’t impose a tax without voter approval."

We reached out to the district for a response and are still waiting to hear back.

Article Topic Follows: Local Health
yuma county

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Danyelle Burke North

Danyelle Burke North joined the KYMA team in March 2024 as a reporter.

If you have any story ideas, you can contact her at


KYMA KECY is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content