Local medical center urges residents to vote in favor of special county tax

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GENEVA, Ala. (WDHN) — Wiregrass Medical Center, a public county-owned hospital is eligible for up to four mills in ad-valorem tax or property tax as you may know it and is asking for your help in increasing it.

“I have been told in the past we did receive four mills in ad Valorem tax but it was reduced to 2.6 mills at some time in the past so we’re asking for the community to support the increase back up to four mils so 1.4 mils will be approximately up to 220,000 dollars to our facility,” CEO Janet Smith said.

The rural hospital employs over 400 employees and is currently the third-largest employer in Geneva County. They provide over a thousand visits to patients each year. The community tax will help the hospital out in a tremendous way by staying open and providing good care for their patients.

“We currently have about two to three million dollars in unpaid medical bills so our hospital is struggling to provide exceptional care to our community while still covering our operating expenses,” Smith said.

So, as residents make their way to the polls on November 3rd, you will be able to vote on the special county tax and the hospital hopes you make the right decision.

“Well, it’ll help the public by guaranteeing we can continue to operate here. Every community needs a hospital and unfortunately, there’s been a lot of rural hospitals to shut down. I’ll tell ya I started here three years ago and we were in a position I thought we would have to shut down. We’re doing okay right now but given the environment and the amount of uncompensated care that we have we really need every penny we can get to support our operations,” She said.

Smith urges residents to vote ‘yes’ when they see this question on the ballot because they want to take care of themselves and most importantly you. The hospital has a $43 million economic impact and that could be a huge loss to the county if they cannot continue to operate.

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