In this consolidated protest, the Taxpayers were hospitals which had claimed deductions, pursuant to Section 7-9-54, for their receipts from Medicare for providing tangible personal property to Medicare covered patients. The Department denied the deductions on the basis that because Medicare beneficiaries generally have paid taxes or premiums under Medicare Part B in order to have Medicare coverage, that the Medicare reimbursements should be treated the same as if the patient’s medical expenses were covered by private insurance, for which there is no deduction. The Taxpayers argued that Medicare is a governmental program, like Medicaid, and because the Department allows a deduction for reimbursements from the Medicaid program for sales of tangible personal property to Medicaid covered patients, they should also be allowed the deduction for sales of tangible personal property to Medicare covered patients. The Taxpayer’s protest was granted. Two other assessments were also protested. On one of the assessments, the ten year statute of limitations to enforce the assessment had run and no action or decision was rendered with respect to that assessment. On the other assessment, the Taxpayer had failed to present evidence or arguments to overcome the presumption of correctness which attached to the assessment and the Taxpayer’s protest was denied. Finally, the Taxpayers challenged the Hearing Officer’s jurisdiction to render a decision on the basis that he failed to issue his decision within thirty days of the hearing as required by Section 7-1-24(H). The Hearing Officer determined that he retained jurisdiction to decide the matter.
Guadalupe Medical Center & Lea Regional Hospital