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YRMC and District Board lawsuit set for July trial, property owners could see tax refund

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - A lawsuit between Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) and Yuma Hospital District One is set to go to trial in July 2024.

YRMC filed the lawsuit back to 2020 alleging that the District breached the lease agreement by "revising" the annual budget to include an increase in rent.

"Our basic concern is that our rent was raised 8,000% without us knowing about it and without any reasoning behind it," said Dr. Robert Trenschel, the CEO of YRMC.

Dr. Jeremy Curry, the Chairman of the Yuma Hospital District One, said that this is not true and it was simply intended to be a proposed budget.

"It's the continued propaganda that I see from YRMC trying to state that we significantly raised their rent by charging them this bill. We never did," Dr. Curry rebutted.

The Hospital District One is an elected board of community members that manage the lease of land that YRMC is built on.

The District imposed a tax on property owners in Yuma County after they say YRMC is refusing to pay for their legal expenses in the lawsuit.

"The only option we had was to fall back on the special taxing portion that we're allotted as a special tax district in order to raise funds from the property owners in order to defend the Hospital District Board #1," Dr. Curry spoke.

In December of 2023, the Goldwater Institute announced that they sued the District claiming that the District is "trying to illegally sneak a new tax onto resident's property tax bills."

"To be able to say that you can just tax folks without going through the right channels is a significant issue," said Dr. Trenschel, who also mentioned that YRMC is not a party in this new legal suite.

Dr. Curry says that he's hoping to refund the taxes paid by property owners if the District wins in court or if the two sides can agree on a settlement.

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