Crenshaw Community Hospital keeps fingers crossed on tax vote

Proposed property tax increase to fund Crenshaw County hospital

CRENSHAW COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Crenshaw County voters have a chance to make their local hospital healthier with a property tax millage increase. The vote comes on Nov. 3, which is less than two weeks away.

Crenshaw Community Hospital hopes to reach a higher level of viability with the acceptance of the property tax increase from 5 mills to 8 mills.

Last month, hospital leaders announced their campaign to convince Crenshaw County voters to say ‘yes’ to the millage increase.

“I know taxes are not popular," said Crenshaw Community Hospital CEO David Hughes.

Hughes admitted he has no idea how this is going to do down on Nov. 3. However, he is certain Crenshaw Community is no different from other rural hospitals, facing major challenges with some closing altogether.

“I know it has to be part of their community to be sustained," he said.

In Crenshaw County, the driving concern for some voters is that they don’t necessarily have an issue with the proposed increase. It’s more of a question of transparency; will the money be spent wisely and efficiently. Hughes addressed that very question.

“We’re coming up with ideas with how we can be more transparent...whether that’s at the county commission meetings.. whether that’s in newsletters out to the community. We’ve got to figure out the best way to do that because one of the challenges we always have in communicating with the community is not everyone has social media," said Hughes.

If it passes, the additional millage would generate around $400,000 a year more to help pay for day-to-day operations. The additional millage would be good for five years.

Either way, hospital officials are emphatic Crenshaw Community won’t close. With less than two weeks to go, voters have quite a bit to think about.

A quick look at the math; a piece of property valued at $50,000 in Crenshaw County would mean an additional $15 a year in property taxes for the property owner.

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