Cache County Chamber of Commerce officials have been told they're fooling themselves if they believe an audit of Logan Regional Hospital's billing practices will settle all doubts.

Chris Allen, executive director of the Citizens for True Tax Reform, said an audit financed by the hospital's owner, Intermountain Health Care, would only be a "whitewash."In response to the Cache Mayors Association's call for a grand jury investigation of the hospital's billing practices, the hospital board asked the chamber to appoint a panel to choose a firm to audit Logan Regional's books.

The committee has been chosen, but at a Saturday night meeting of the mayors association, chamber executive director Doug Thompson reminded the mayors that "we are neutral in this controversy."

Allen said his tax watchdog group supports the mayors' contention that IHC hospitals shouldn't get tax-exempt status.

"I've found they give no more to benefit the community than a supermarket gives when it hands out goodies to customers on special occasions," he said.