Hidalgo County voters to determine approval of Hospital District tax in November
POSTED: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 2:48pm
UPDATED: Friday, September 5, 2014 - 8:25am
Edinburg, TX — The City of Edinburg commends this week’s action by Hidalgo County Commissioners calling for an election to allow voters to decide if a Hospital District should be created. This is directly tied to supporting the creation of the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
The call for an election comes after Mayor Richard H. Garcia presented a petition to Commissioners’ Court allowing commissioners to approve an election regarding the measure this fall. Acknowledging the need for a Hidalgo County Hospital District and realizing its potential, the mayor exceeded the petition requirements by collecting the signatures of more than 100 registered voters, a testament to the support and urgency behind creating the Hospital District and UTRGV.
On November 4, voters will be asked to approve the Hospital District with an initial tax of eight cents per $100 valuation, expected to generate about $20 million. Five million would go toward the Medical School, $13 million would be used for indigent care and the remaining $2 million would go toward the administration and operations of the Hidalgo County Health Department.
Mayor Garcia said: “The City of Edinburg is very proud to be involved in leading the way for the creation of a new Hospital District, which will facilitate the creation of a regional medical school located in our city. The Hospital District is an investment in our future that should mirror what happened in the City of San Antonio when they got theirs 25 years ago. We recognize that San Antonio went from being a mirror image of the Rio Grande Valley in demographics and population to being the second largest city in the state and seventh largest in the United States. The Valley region transformed 21 years ago through the creation of NAFTA, becoming the fifth fastest growing region in the U.S.”
Taking a proactive approach, the City of Edinburg and three other Valley cities had previously agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the UT System that outlines financial support for the university. The MOU includes McAllen, Mission and Pharr. It also calls for the creation of a nine-member Hospital District governing board whose members would be appointed by the County Commissioners’ Court and participating cities.
Mayor Garcia said: “The investment being made by the creation of this Hospital District will mean an even greater transformation for our region. I cannot imagine any parent or grandparent being reluctant to invest in their children or grandchildren’s future.”
The creation of a Hidalgo County Hospital District is also crucial because UTRGV and its medical school is anticipated to create some 7,000 new and higher-paying jobs; new doctors and health related businesses.
Senator Hinojosa informs Hidalgo County Commissioners on proposed Hospital District tax