Montgomery County Hospital District lowers tax rate, adopts deficit budget

The Montgomery County Hospital District board of directors approved a lower tax rate for fiscal year 2019-20.

The Montgomery County Hospital District board of directors approved a lower tax rate for fiscal year 2019-20.

The Montgomery County Hospital District board of directors voted to adopt a property tax rate of $0.0589 per $100 valuation for fiscal year 2019-20, a dip from FY 2018-19, MCHD officials announced in a Sept. 11 news release. According to MCHD information, the adopted tax rate is a 1.66% decrease from the previous fiscal year of $0.0599 per $100 valuation.

This is the 17th consecutive year the MCHD board of directors has decreased its property tax rate, according to the release. Since fiscal year 2013-14, the property tax rate has decreased nearly 19% from $0.0727 per $100 valuation, according to tax rate information on MCHD's website.

MCHD provides indigent care and emergency medical services throughout Montgomery County, according to the release.

MCHD's budget anticipates a $4.69 million deficit in FY 2019-20, according to the release. However, MCHD anticipates tax revenue to increase 5.1% this fiscal year from FY 2018-19 and total $34,623,604.

"This is the second year in a row that MCHD has adopted a deficit budget," Chief Financial Officer Brett Allen said in a statement. "That means we'll be using tax revenue collected in the past to pay for next year's expenses."

Allen said the district targets having three months of operating funds in reserve, but the district has more than that on hand. MCHD has built up its reserves in recent years, planning for unexpected events, he said in the release.

"The board has a longstanding objective of lowering the tax rate every year, though in some years we lower it more than others," board chairman Mark Cole said in a statement. "But we feel that by lowering the tax rate while passing a budget which controls spending and which judiciously reduces reserves, we have charted a strong and sustainable course for the future of the hospital district, the services it provides and the taxpayers of Montgomery County."
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