Dawson County residents could pay higher taxes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Dawson County residents could pay higher taxes

Medical Arts Hospital in Lamesa Medical Arts Hospital in Lamesa
Cris Norris, chairman of the board of trustees for Dawson County Hospital District Cris Norris, chairman of the board of trustees for Dawson County Hospital District
DAWSON COUNTY, TX (KCBD) -

Right now, people within the Dawson County Hospital District are trying to digest a possible tax increase.

On Wednesday, hospital board members held the first public hearing on the potential increase at Medical Arts Hospital in Lamesa.

Folks came out so their voices could be heard, regarding the potential rate hike.

The Medical Arts Hospital Board says they're having to increase the taxes for those who live in their district, because they're seeing a huge drop in oil and property appraisals.

"$1.127 billion to $734 million, that's the drop in valuation," says Cris Norris, chairman of the board of trustees for Dawson County Hospital District.

He says right now, the tax rate is $0.22 per $100 of taxable value.

And now, the board is looking at increasing that amount to nearly $0.37, which is more than a 60% increase that folks will have to pay up- if adopted.

But, concerned citizens aren't going down without a fight.

"We can't afford higher taxes than what we've got right now," says Emial Douglas, Lamesa citizen, says.

"I'm just tired of being asked to live on less, not just by the hospital, but every taxing entity we have, constantly has their hands in my pockets," Stan Smith a Dawson County resident, says.

Norris says the board has already made adjustments.

"We have made $1.2 million in cuts, already, to our budget," Norris says.

And, he says, unfortunately, the $0.36 proposed tax rate is needed, so the hospital district can generate the same tax revenue as last year.

But, Norris says he completely understands the frustrations citizens are feeling.

"I'm a taxpayer here, as well," he says. "So, I certainly understand their concerns, in our current economic times-any additional tax is a burden and we understand that."

The next public hearing will take place Wednesday, August 17th at noon.

Copyright 2016 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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