Hospital Authority, City Council seek sales tax re-designation
The Alva Hospital Authority has scheduled a special meeting on August 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm. The trustees will be considering and acting upon a request to the Alva City Council, seeking a public election to lift the capital improvement restriction on the current 1.25% sales tax for the hospital.
Included in the measure is language related to the bond obligation on hospital improvements.
That same evening, the Alva City Council will consider a resolution and ordinance to allow the hospital sales tax re-designation be included in the municipal election to be held November 12, 2013.
The proposed measure will not have any impact on the current sales tax rate. Lifting the restriction would allow the hospital to use excess tax dollars for other aspects of hospital operations after debt repayment obligations have been met.
Currently, the hospital is observing strict spending reductions, including hours reductions for non-patient care staff, suspension of non-essential operating activities, and the discontinuance or sale of cost-detrimental programs and services. Fees for services are being collected at the time services are rendered.
These and other financial decisions over the past two years have improved the medical center’s financial position compared to the five years prior. Despite this improvement, regulatory and legislative demands have forever changed rural hospital finances. The Charles Morton Share Trust has provided a bridge loan to the medical center in order to ensure current obligations can be met. Moving forward, the hospital will need access to this excess sales tax revenue to repay debt and ensure compliance with current and future obligations.
Share Memorial Hospital is currently the only hospital, 25-beds or less, in northwest Oklahoma that has no federal, state, county, or local subsidy for operations.
In 2004, municipal voters overwhelmingly approved the 1.25% sales tax designation for hospital improvements. Since 2006, SMC has completed over $13 million in hospital enhancements, $9.25 million from the sales tax supported bond issue. Share Medical Center employs over 200 employees and has a greater than $7.2 million annual economic impact on Alva and the surrounding areas.
More information will be forthcoming. Questions may be directed to SMC CEO, Kandice Allen at 580.430.3309.