Citizens address HCHD
Houston County Courier
When the Houston County Hospital District Board of Directors met on Tuesday, Jan. 18, three citizens spoke during the public comments section of the meeting. One of the citizens, Mike Brown, asked why the HCHD continues to levy a tax when the district’s assets appear strong. “I noticed your expenses were really minor (during presesntation of the board’s monthly financial report) and I cannot understand why you’re still taxing the people of this county when you’ve got that kind of money sitting around. . . if you had a whole lot of expenses, I could understand it,” Brown said, “but this just doesn’t fit.” Board President Dr. John Stovall responded, “Everybody has their opinion. This is not the board’s opinion. This is my opinion.” “That’s a surplus we have because we don’t know what’s going to happen next year or the year after next,” Stovall explained. “We may have to spend money on indigent care, new building, things unknown to us. I would I would hate to see us get in a position where, if we quit taxing you, we wouldn’t be able to start taxing you again without having another election to allow us to do that.” Stovall said, “We try to use the money for good, and we do have over $3 million in the bank. We have some anticipated expenses that may take a big chunk of that, but there are also unanticipated expenses that we don’t know about, and that’s a surplus that we feel is good for the county, good for the hospital, and gives us the flexibility to do things that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.” Stovall said he does not think the three-cent tax (per hundred dollar valuation) is a hardship on most of the people. “I think we’ve lowered it, in fact, over the last few years,” Stovall said.