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Petitioners Request Election To Raise Hospital Tax Cap

Special to the HCCourier

Thursday, Aug. 10, the Houston County Hospital District (HCHD)was presented with a petition signed by over 100 registered voters of the Houston County Hospital District (HCHD) requesting an election under Texas Health Safety Code 285.231 to authorize the increase of the maximum tax rate of Houston County Hospital District from $0.15 to up to the maximum statutory rate of $0.75.

Accordingly, Houston County Hospital District orders that a hearing be held on the request on Monday, Aug. 21, at 5:30 p.m. at the cafeteria of Houston County Medical Center.

If, after the hearing, the HCHD determines that the petition is in proper form and that an increase of the maximum tax rate would benefit the HCHD, then the election will be ordered and held on Nov. 7, 2017.

Deborah Blackwell, HCHD president, wanted to clarify that if approved by a majority of the voters at the Nov. 7, 2017, election, it would merely allow the district, if it deems necessary, to raise taxes in the future above the current $0.15 maximum rate. The earliest that the tax rate could be raised would be 2018 and any increase that exceeds the rollback rate would be subject to the rollback election procedures as set forth in the Tax code.

The HCHD Board of Directors is continuing to work on finalizing a lease with Christus Trinity Mother Francis Health System which opened its Crockett clinic Monday, Aug. 14.

The district is also working hard to find a way, if at all possible, to reopen the emergency department and hospital and will continue to provide updates as more information becomes known, according to a HCHD news release.