PARCEL TAX RENEWAL RESOLUTION
In a move to provide funding for a new hospital, Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District’s governing board passed a resolution to renew, increase, and extend its annual parcel tax.
Board President Barbara Truitt gave the reason: “Building a new hospital is not just an option; it is a must! Our current facility will not meet California’s seismic standards after 2029. We have already accomplished every possible seismic retrofit, and we will be forced to close our existing hospital in 2030. It’s important to note as well that stand-alone emergency rooms are not allowed in California, and ambulances are barred from bringing patients to urgent care facilities for treatment or stabilization.”
We have sent our request to hold a parcel tax renewal election to the Humboldt County’s Board of Supervisors. At their 1/10/17 meeting, they will consider authorizing us to bring this question to our District’s voters in May: “Shall the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District renew its expiring parcel tax to continue providing local access to hospital emergency care, physician clinic services, other healthcare programs and services, including a new hospital and new or improved healthcare facilities? The renewed tax will be at a new rate of $170 per year on all qualified parcels, annually providing $1.63 million dollars per year for 45 years beginning July 1, 2018.”
This is an urgent first step in our plans for financing what will be a several-year project. The Parcel Tax provides collateral for a long-term USDA loan, enabling us to lock in an interest rate now, contingent on passage of the tax. On January 1 we saw a 1% rise in USDA interest rates from an all-time low of 2.375%. USDA interest rates are set quarterly, and rates are expected to continue to rise.
SoHum residents can recoup their Parcel Tax payments through the District's Voucher Program. This program provides credit to offset copays and deductibles for patient services obtained at the Southern Humboldt Community Clinic and Jerold Phelps Hospital. To learn how you can use this credit, go to www.shchd.org/voucher.
In the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing lots of information about the need for and benefits of a new hospital. Look for our articles in local newspapers, and listen for our interviews on Humboldt radio stations. SHCHD board and staff members are eager to share our plans, and we welcome your questions.