Senator Hinojosa informs Hidalgo County Commissioners on proposed Hospital District tax
HIDALGO COUNTY, TX — Texas Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa updated Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia and Commissioners on proposed legislation to create a Hospital District in Hidalgo County.
Hinojosa stressed that every area with a medical school in Texas also has a Hospital District with taxing authority to help fund it. Hinojosa said he has been meeting with representatives from the cities of Edinburg, McAllen, Mission and Pharr along with representatives from Hidalgo County to discuss the make-up of a Hospital District Board, its duties and responsibilities, and taxes.
While the State of Texas allows for up to 75 cents to be taxed, the local representatives agreed to cap the Hospital District taxes at 25 cents, Hinojosa said. The cap is not the amount that will be taxed – the actual amount that will be assessed will be well below the cap, Hinojosa said.
He added that the additional population and businesses moving into the area because of the new medical school will boost the tax rolls and promote economic development.
After the update, the Commissioners Court voted unanimously on its position to have a 7 member Hospital District Board, with five appointed by each commissioner and the County Judge and two appointed by the cities.
In addition, the Commissioners Court voted unanimously to adopt a Memorandum of Understanding between the county; the cities of Edinburg, McAllen, Mission and Pharr; and the University of Texas System for the development of and funding for a medical school.
Edinburg City Manager Ramiro Garza said part of the negotiations to create a new medical school included commitments to help fund it for 10 years by contributing $5 million per year. Under the MOU, McAllen would provide $2 million, Edinburg and Hidalgo County would each provide $1 million, and Mission and Pharr would each provide $500,000.
If a Hospital District is created, that $5 million annual commitment as well as the County’s obligation to fund indigent care will be assumed by the new Hospital District.