The Taos County Commission unanimously voted Tuesday (Oct. 2) to deny a request from Holy Cross Hospital to authorize a special election on the issue of a hospital funding tax.
The hospital sought a new property tax levy to shore up what it called a $10 million shortfall due to uncompensated care. Before the issue could have been brought to voters, the election needed to be authorized by the county commission.
The commission's vote Tuesday means no election will take place and there will be no new tax.
The additional tax would have amounted to $1.60 for every $1,000 of taxable property value for every property in the county.
Representatives of Holy Cross Hospital told the commission Tuesday that the funding was necessary in order to maintain the hospital's current level of service. Without it, the hospital now says it will now have to make drastic cuts that could amount to as much as $6 million annually.
Members of the commission showed reluctance to add to the burden put on taxpayers by governments and utilities in a sluggish economy.
For more on this story, see the Oct. 4 edition of The Taos News.