Siding with taxpayers, Midland Memorial Hospital leaders announced Wednesday that they have revised their 2016 tax rate proposal. Instead of increasing their tax rate by 5%, the hospital will adopt the effective tax rate of $0.1198 per $100 valuation. This will generate the same revenue for the hospital as last year, in addition to roughly $1 million in revenue from new taxable property. Should the newly proposed rate pass, the hospital will make $1.1 million in budget cuts – all while maintaining the same level of service.

This decision follows many internal discussions between board members as well as feedback from Midland residents. President of the Board J.T. (Tommy) Lent, said during Wednesday’s public hearing, “I’ve spent a lot of time praying and thinking about this tax proposal and it’s been a very difficult decision. However, I have come to the conclusion that I simply cannot support something that would require residents to pay more in taxes during an economic downturn as we’re experiencing now.”

Concurrently, board members also discussed the hospital’s financial state and their concern regarding their ability to fulfill the hospital’s strategic plan as well as maintain a healthy ‘rainy day’ fund, a reserve account similar to a savings account financed by surplus tax revenue.

The board certainly faces tough decisions ahead, but their transparency during the budgeting process as well as commitment to working within their means, should the revised tax rate pass, is commendable.

The newly proposed tax rate of $0.1198 will be voted on during the board’s August 27th meeting at 11:45am in the Board Room at Midland Memorial Hospital.

Lauren Melear

Lauren Melear leads the West Texas Bureau of Texas Scorecard. When not working, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog, as well as cooking, working out, traveling to the hill country, and cheering on the fightin' Texas Aggies.