ECTOR COUNTY, TX (KWES) - After receiving criticism and push back from Ector County residents about a 36 percent increased tax rate, the district approved a rate slightly below the effective rate.
A unanimous decision by all present board members of the hospital district to raise taxes, but not as high as originally proposed.
"I was disappointed they raised it at all. Although, a 12.5 percent increase is better than a 36 percent increase," said resident and County Attorney Dusty Gallivan.
Gallivan spoke at last week's public meeting about the increase, not as an attorney, but as a taxpayer. He along with other residents were disgruntled about the increase.
The district originally proposed a rate of .0995 cents per $100 valuation. That rate would have homeowners paying about $141.40 a year with the average priced home of $142,110. Taxpayers would pay an additional $37.18.
"I think they certainly did listen to the concern of the public and that's reflected in this budget that was just approved," said William Webster, Medical Center Hospital President and CEO.
"Cost of services go up, cost of employees go up, that's for every governmental entity. I can understand the need, but based on other information they presented, I don't think they needed to increase taxes at all," said Gallivan.
The new rate is just below the effective rate at .0825 cents per $100 valuation. Homeowners with the average priced home will pay $117.24 per year.
"It'll be another challenging year but we will do okay. Our main thing that we wanted to guard was making sure our patient care was not compromised in any way. We feel very good about that and hopefully we can get through fiscal year '17 and be in a better position for 2018," said Webster.