MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Midlanders could be facing a tax increase after the members of the county's board discussed how to break even. Officials say the proposal would have families in the Tall City seeing a 1.79 percent increase on their tax bill, which could mean an extra $3 to $5 a year.
Stephen Bowerman, Chief Financial Officer for the Midland County Hospital District, said, "It can go to pay nursing salaries. It can go to buy a new MRI or technology in the operating room. It can go to pay other debt services the hospital may have. It can go to pay uncompensated care. The hospital had over $60 million in bad debt last year," said Bowerman.
Bad debt comes from the services the hospital provides but weren't paid for usually coming from those who had no insurance. Bowerman said most of those cases happened in the emergency room.
"83% of our bad debt starts in the ER. We give treatment there whether they have insurance, whether they can pay or not," said Bowerman.
The proposed increase will still keep hospital taxes in Midland County to one of the lowest taxing entities in the area and families would not see the price of a visit to the hospital increase.
"We don't just want to do the status quo. Every year, we work to improve our service offering and the quality of the service we provide. We want to stay on that path," said Bowerman.
If you want to voice your opinion on the tax increase, there will be two chances August 16 and 24 in the Midland Memorial Hospital Board Room at noon.