Hospital to rely on less tax revenue for 2017
As Faith Community Hospital neared its one-year anniversary of opening its 80,000-square-foot replacement facility, the hospital board of directors did not adopted the 2016 effective tax rate of 39.53 cents per $100 of valuation. Instead, the board adopted the 2015 rate of 31.27 cents.
Not adopting the effective rate reduces the tax revenue received by the Jack County Hospital District by just under $1 million.
CEO Frank Beaman said it also falls in line with the promises made 4 years ago of making every effort to stay below 31.5 cents. Increased hospital revenues partially account for the ability to rely less on tax proceeds.
“We are trying very hard to keep our tax rate low, and I’m pleased that we have been able to preserve that commitment,” said Shelly Owen, FCH board chair. “We need to be able to rely less and less on tax revenue and more on income generated by our services, and I’m pleased to say that we’ve been able to do just that.”
In 2012 the hospital district increased its local tax rate to 31.5 cents, which was above the rollback rate. This year’s tax rate was set with the hospital’s recent history and taxpayers in mind.
“We wanted to distance ourselves from tax revenue but not put ourselves in a position where we were 4 years ago where the tax rate continued to fall to the point where the tax revenue wasn’t even covering the indigent care costs,” Beaman said. “So we shored it up, then we made the investment in the new facility and now it’s paying off and it’s doing exactly what we hoped it would do.
“The goal is to always be sensitive to the burden on the taxpayers. There’s a balance to where the tax revenue should take care of the things it’s intended to like the indigent and charity care. It’s a supplement to keep the hospital operational.”
Beaman said the 2012 rate allowed FCH to sustain the state of health care services in Jack County and kick off the development of the replacement facility.
To read the complete article, see the Sept. 23 edition of the Herald-Gazette.