Voters KO hospital tax
Voters send ‘loud and clear’ message, hospital CEO says
The hospital asked voters to approve a higher amount of property tax and to authorize the issuance of $3 million in bonds for capital improvements. The tax rate for the hospital would have risen from 2.48 to 2.97 mills.
About 2,600 voters turned out to cast their vote on the propositions.
Fred Martinez, CEO of the hospital, said that hospital staff is regrouping after the propositions were denied.
“We appreciate all of the people that voted for the hospital (propositions) and for those that didn’t vote for them - we heard the message loud and clear that the voters of the parish don’t want to see additional taxation,” Martinez said. “We’re going to regroup and look at that and consider what the message means to us.”
Martinez said that the hospital is experiencing a “serious cash problem” and that the tax renewal was very important.
“The renewal was important because… the banks wanted to see the renewal in place before they approved our line of credit for this year,” Martinez said. “Without the renewal, it’s hard for us to get the line of credit in place.”
While the failure to renew the tax and bonds issues is a set back for the hospital, Martinez does not plan on reducing the services provided there.
“We probably won’t cut down on services provided, but we do have to cut our costs back,” he said.
Because the bonds didn’t pass, the hospital must hold off on buying new equipment, such as ambulances and surgical tables, until additional funds can be found, Martinez said.
“Although the election failed, we’re not going to stop our efforts in trying to improve healthcare for the parish,” Martinez said. “We’ll just have to figure out how to do it without additional taxation.”
Voters did approve two other propositions on Saturday’s ballot.
Disabled veterans will now be able to double their homestead exemptions. Parish President V.J. St. Pierre proposed the measure that will allow the 66 parish veterans that meet the criteria to double their exemptions to $150,000.
Saturday voters also passed a renewal of taxation for mosquito control. The tax rate will remain at 1.10 mills and is used for the continued study, abatement, control and eradication of mosquitoes.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
A New Orleans man accused of kidnapping and raping a Norco woman before allegedly...
Resurfacing the Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge deck isn’t just a $24.5 million upgrade,...
An attempted traffic stop by Louisiana State Police on I-310 turned into a police...
The Des Allemands man accused of stealing more than $12,000 from the 2014 Louisiana...
Those who volunteer with the St. Charles United Methodist Church Food Pantry in...
With three regular season games left, Destrehan’s mantra is simple: no matter who...
Today's Car Care is the name people trust when it comes to outstanding tires and automotive service in the River Region and beyond.
Sheriff says DOTD traffic plan will worsen bridge congestion - 1663 views
With road upgrade work on the Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge to begin Sunday, St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne chastised the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) for excluding local agencies from providing input in a traffic re-routing plan that could cause substantial additional traffic congestion.