Members of the Gainesville Hospital District Board of Directors recently discussed the district’s proposed tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year.
During a teleconference Monday, July 27, Christy Daughtry, the hospital board’s administrative assistant, said the district’s certifiable taxable values are up from $3.4 million to $3.6 million.
She also said the district’s debt decreased from the prior year. The district’s 2021 bond debt is $3,623,172, according to information provided to board members.
“Based on the calculations, we would need to have a $0.1023 rate to project enough funds to cover our debt,” Daughtry said of the district’s proposed 2021 interest and sinking rate.
The 2020 interest and sinking rate is 11 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation. The I&S tax funds the district’s debt obligations.
Daughtry explained legislation last year brought some changes to the tax terms. What was known as the effective rate, the rate changed some of the tax code members are used to. For instance, the effective rate — the tax rate needed to bring in the same tax revenue as the previous year — is now called the no-new-revenue rate.
She said the suggested maintenance and operations tax rate of $0.0383 per $100 valuation would bring in the same revenue for maintenance and operations in the current tax year as generated the prior year. That would provide a total overall tax rate of $0.1406 — a decrease of almost a penny.
The M&O tax rate supports day-to-day operating expenses. Last year’s rate was four cents per $100 of assessed property value.
Option two, she said, would be $0.0396 for the M&O rate. Daughtry said the proposed rate is a lower overall rate, but an increase of M&O receipts by about $50,000. The overall tax rate would be $0.1419 per $100 property valuation.
“It is the highest taxing rate that we can adopt before we have to have public hearings,” Daughtry said.
Her recommendation, however, was for a third option. Daughtry said option three of $0.0405 would bring in the same total revenue in the current tax year as was generated from the previous year.
That rate would require public hearings, she said. That overall rate would be $0.1428 per $100 assessed property valuation.
Last year, the district board voted 7-2 to approve a total tax rate of 15 cents per $100 of assessed property value for the 2020 budget year which began Oct. 1, according to an archived Register report. Board members Ken Arterbury and Jimmy Mosman voted against the approval.
During the July 27 meeting, Arterbury suggested giving the district’s taxpayers a bigger break by redirecting $2 million from the hospital district’s bank account since the district has $7.6 million.
“I think we need to give our taxpayers a break more than what you got listed right here,” he said.
North Texas Medical Center CFO Shelle Diehm said per the debt requirement, the district cannot prepay any debt for 10 years.
Arterbury said he doesn’t want to prepay, but use the money instead of tax revenues to pay debt in order to drop the tax rate.
Board Secretary Jeff Isbell said it’s a “worthwhile” suggestion, but would require a check into the district’s budget.
Isbell said he doesn’t want to decrease taxes this year and go back and ask for an increase next year.
“I want to make sure we make the right decision,” Isbell said.
Derrell Comer was not present during the meeting.
Daughtry is to schedule a specially called meeting to discuss finances again this month.