Property taxes could soon go up to help El Paso County Hospital District

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Property taxes across the Borderland could soon spike up in order to help the El Paso County Hospital District.

Property taxes across the Borderland could soon spike up in order to help the El Paso County Hospital District.

That hospital district consists of University Medical Center, El Paso Health, El Paso Children’s, and UMC Foundation.

On Tuesday, El Paso County Hospital District Board of Managers and El Paso County Commissioners held a meeting to discuss the budget for fiscal year 2020.

The hospitals proposed different options for tax increases. Most notably, a 5.6% tax rate increase which means property owners would pay an extra $2.59 a month.

The board said the raise would help cover patients who do not pay the hospitals back after receiving medical care. The additional tax revenue would also allow an increase of minimum wage to $11 dollars an hour.

Director of Public Affairs for University Medical Center of El Paso, Ryan Mielke, told KTSM the public hospital receives the smallest tax revenue compared to other Texas hospitals, “We have a growing population that does depend on those dollars for charity care as well and we try to make sure it’s covered regardless whether or not the taxpayers pay for it or not.”

President and CEO for El Paso Children’s Hospital, Cindy Stout, told KTSM the board will look for additional funding later on to help expand the Children’s Hospital due to overcrowding.

“Right now we have an eighth floor. When the hospital was initially created, it was a shell. That shell if we build that out will allow us to have 26 additional beds for the hospital,” Stout said.

No decision has been made yet. County Commissioners and hospital board members are expected to meet sometime next week.

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