Ector Co. Hospital District tax rate increase discussed at public meeting

Ector Co. Hospital District tax rate increase discussed at public meeting

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - As they face a two and a half million dollar deficit, the Ector County Hospital District is looking at an increased tax rate to help cover the costs.

The 36% hike would equal $11.78 per month, totaling $141.40 per year for an average Ector County home worth $142,110. This results in an overall increase of approximately $3.42 per month.

Tim Harry, a resident said "I'm mad because I see the property taxes going up. I'm smart enough to realize when the property taxes of the property I'm renting goes up 36%, my rental rate is going to go up as well."

He along with the almost fifteen residents, business owners and county officials spoke up at Tuesday's public meeting. The reason why they are upset is because of the proposed tax rate members on the board of the Ector County Hospital District.

The increase would take the ad valorem tax rate at the .073 cents per hundred valuation and increase it to .095 cents per hundred valuation.

Jon Riggs, Medical Center Hospital Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer said, "We will be discontinuing our sleep labs service effective October 1st."

Riggs said with more clinics throughout Odessa, the mobile care units are also going away.
As for doctors, the Emergency Department Medical Director and Chief of Staff at MCH Gregory Shipkey said they see one of the biggest reasons why the hospital is in a bind everyday.

"For us the biggest issue is the massive amount of uncompensated care and folks who just don't have insurance. We take care of all of them but unfortunately somebody has to pay the bills for that," said Shipkey.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday September 27th at 1:30pm where members of the board are expected to adopt the new tax rate.

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