Hospital Proposes Tax Increase

Mountains Community Hospital (MCH) has sent out a press release seeking community support in passing a measure. This measure will take a tax to fund the hospital, which was previously voted on every four years, and make it a permanent tax that will increase every year. Those with questions are encouraged to reach out to the hospital. See below for the press release:

Help keep our hospital forever

on March 3, 2020!

MCH will have a ballot measure in the March 3, 2020 election to make the current parcel tax permanent, thus eliminating the significant expense of holding an election every four years.

In addition, the hospital is asking for an annual increase, tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) with a 3% cap, to ensure the hospital can keep pace with ever-increasing healthcare costs. This means that the first-year increase, assuming the full 3%, would be [an increase of] $2.40 a year per homeowner.

The community put the current tax into place in 1989 to save the hospital from closure and it has not gone up in 30 years. It is just $40 per year for vacant lots, $80 for homeowners, and $200 for commercial properties.

“Last year the hospital had 46,800 patient visits, more than ever before in our 68-year history! Our patient volume is up and we are seeing people with increasingly severe and complex conditions. Our cost to provide essential healthcare services has increased by more than 56% in just the past 10 years, but the tax has not gone up - ever. Approval of this ballot measure will ensure the hospital can continue to meet the needs of our community, today and in the years to come, as well as complete $40-50 million worth of necessary improvements,” said Charlie Harrison, CEO of MCH.

Can you imagine this community without a hospital, emergency room, health clinics and the many other services MCH provides? The hospital helps attract and retain doctors, medical specialists, pharmacies and other health providers. In addition, the hospital helps support local paramedics in the event of accidents and emergencies by providing an immediately accessible emergency room, open 24/7, as well as an FAA-approved heliport. MCH also keeps jobs in our community, maintains property values and strengthens the local economy.

In the coming months, you will be hearing more about the March 3, 2020 election and this ballot measure. If you have any questions, please contact Kim McGuire, the MCH Foundation director and a member of the Keep Our Hospital Forever Committee, by calling (909) 436-3263.