Last Updated: May 5th, 2014 - 16:57:19

Know the facts about the MCHD bond election
By Michael Wright, Editor
May 5, 2014, 16:56

Voters within the Moore County Hospital District have been and will be casting ballots in an important bond election to decide whether or not a new hospital and assisted living facility are constructed in Dumas.
Early voting began April 28 and concludes May 6. Election day is Saturday, May 10.
As voters take to the polls to cast their ballots in this election, it is important to be aware of the facts surrounding the election. Here is what we know:
• Memorial Hospital is in need of major renovations or a new hospital needs to be constructed;
• The cost of major renovations would cost upwards of 80 to 90 percent of the cost of new construction;
• If approved, the bond will increase the hospital district’s tax rate to just over 29 cents per $100 valuation;
• Figure how the bond will impact your taxes by taking your home value, subtracting $10,000 for homestead exemption (if applicable). Divide that number by 100. Take that figure and multiply it by .292637.
• Using the formula mentioned, the owner of a $100,000 home, who qualifies for homestead exemption, would see a tax increase of $135 per year, or $11.25 per month;
• The district’s tax rate has increased 135 percent (or slightly more than 8 cents) since 2006 when the rate was .060701, which is due to indigent care costs;
• Moore County taxpayers are responsible for indigent care costs regardless of whether or not there is a hospital;
• MCHD assumes a significant portion of indigent care costs. In 2013, taxes collected were just over $3.1 million while uncompensated care exceeded $6.2 million; and
• The amount of the bond cannot exceed $49 million regardless of the actual cost of construction. Any additional costs will be assumed by the hospital district.
An economic impact study conducted shows a new hospital, over the next 15 years, would be worth approximately $1 billion to Moore County.
It is up to you, voters, to decide the fate of this issue. Do the math, see how it will impact your family and decide if you are willing to improve the quality of life in Dumas and Moore County for everyone.
Regardless of which side of the issue you are on, the NewsHPress encourages you to cast your ballot. In local elections, every vote does count and your vote could be the difference.