To the Editor,

   Tax exemption is a very dirty phrase in my vocabulary. Local governments are the largest contributors. Everything they own is tax exempt. All the property the city of Madras has acquired since their redevelopment is off the tax roles. This has moved the burden to the rest of the taxpayers.
   We are now stuck with a lot of soon to be, or already old people. These people have paid property taxes their whole life. Now that their final days are approaching and finances are disappearing they are finding that there is nowhere to turn except Medicaid. In this entire county I found only one place that will accept these people. Unless they are private pay they have no place to turn. Think about this when you look at your parents or loved ones as they continue the process of aging.
   I just finished this process with my mother. Last year we moved her from her home state of Nevada. Even though she was private pay, we could not find a facility that could offer the care she needed. After an extensive search, I was able to locate a place right under my nose here in Madras. All the inmates are treated the same whether they are private or state pay. The staff is very caring and treat the residents like they are members of their own family.
   Medicaid only pays $800 - $1,200 a month depending on the care needed. This is why the other care facilities have dropped Medicaid and gone to private pay. It's estimated that it takes five private pays to equal the loss occurred of one Medicaid.
   This establishment is East Cascade Retirement Community. They are only asking for a temporary tax exemption. This has gone on for a couple of years and will continue for a few more until Medicaid starts to fund more money. This exemption is a small price to pay to still receive care for our loved ones.
   Today (Wednesday) East Cascade will go before the county commissioners for the request. Hope they will grant it. The hospital has already granted it. The fire department that I have always respected decided to decline along with the money hungry city. Remember for every tax exempt property is less money for the above taxing districts to squander.
   To the readers that agree with this letter, you should make some phone calls to these districts. They are the same ones that appear on your tax bill every year. Also maybe we should remember them the next time they come whining when they want us to vote in another bond.
   Steve Jansen
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