Hospital vote tax set for Tuesday

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

On Tuesday, voters are being asked to weigh in on two proposals for a gross receipts tax to support the Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital.
In the election, the first question asks residents to vote for an existing tax and the second asks residents to vote for a new tax.

Elected officials, civic leaders and many residents say the tax is critical to pay for maintenance and improvements to the hospital building.

“I’m for the tax,” said Bill Menges, the newly elected chairman of the Quay County Republican party, who was attending a booth at the Heritage Dayze Festival.

“They do for us and we need to do for them,” Menges said.

“I haven’t talked to anyone who is not for the tax,” said Cathi Irving, of Logan.

“We have used Trigg Memorial Hospital many times for our family members. The hospital has always been there for us. Therefore, we are voting yes on Sept. 18th in support of our hospital,” Gail and Ronny Sanders wrote to the Quay County Sun.

Another writer, Cynthia Kirksey, said that in 1987 she traveled to Santa Fe to support the first gross receipts because she was concerned about health care for her children and others in Tucumcari.

Now, 20 years later, she wrote, “My children are grown and gone, but my concerns about local health care are still very real. Now, my concerns are for my aging family members, my husband and myself, our friends and the citizens of Tucumcari who deserve the best possible medical care, here at home in our community.

“As the baby boomers in this community age, there will be broken hips, heart conditions and other age-related maladies that will continue to need immediate attention. For younger generations, there will still be babies born into this community and those mothers and children deserve the best hospital services possible in our remote area of the state. It is the shared responsibility of every citizen in our community to take action to make sure our local hospital remains viable.”

What will make the hospital more viable, hospital administrator Matt Posinski said, are a new roof and a required fire suppression-sprinkler system. Together those two items, alone, will cost about $900,000. Other building improvements are also needed, in additional to medical equipment and related digital and computer systems for medical record keeping and sharing of records with other health care professionals such as specialists.

The first tax question is the renewal of an existing tax.

The second tax question does not specifically mention Dan C. Trigg Memorial. However, Dan Trigg is the only hospital that Quay County owns and proceeds from the tax are for the hospital, said Quay County manager Richard Primrose.

“It doesn’t mention Quay County or the hospital because the legislation is there for more than one county to have their own elections,” Primrose said.

C.J. Wiegel, chairman of Dan C. Trigg’s board, said the tax would become effective Jan. 1, 2008.

Special County Hospital Gross Receipts Tax Question

“Shall the County of Quay, New Mexico continue to impose on any person engaging in business in this County of Quay a tax equal to one-eighth of one percent (1/8 of 1%) of the gross receipts reported by the person pursuant to the New Mexico Gross Receipts and Compensating Tax Act as it now exists or as it may be amended, with the proceeds to be used for the current operations and maintenance of Dr. Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital?”
l For
l Against

Local Hospital Gross Receipts Tax Question

“Shall the County of Quay, New Mexico impose on any person engaging in business in this County of Quay a tax equal to one-half of one percent (1/2 of 1%) of the gross receipts reported by the person pursuant to the New Mexico Gross Receipts and Compensating Tax Act as it now exists or as it may be amended, with the proceeds to be used for either or a combination of the following: (a) funding of acquisition of land or buildings for and the design, construction, renovation, equipping or furnishing of a hospital facility or health clinic owned by the county or a hospital or health clinic with whom the county has entered into a health care facilities contract, leased or management contract; or (b) operations and maintenance or a hospital or health clinic owned by the county or a hospital or health clinic with whom the county has entered into a health care facilities contract, lease or management contract?”
l For
l Against

Consolidated polling …
Tuesday is Election Day to vote on:
l The special county hospital gross receipts tax question
l Local hospital gross receipts tax question
Consolidated polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the locations below. Listings are by precinct.

Precinct 1: House Community/Senior Citizens Center, 110 South Apple St., House
Precinct 2: Forrest Fire Department, 209 State Highway 210, Forrest
Precinct 3: San Jon Community Center, 306 East Oak Ave., San Jon
Precinct 4 ,5: Logan Civic Center, 100 North Second St., Logan
Precinct 6, 15, 16: Quay County Exhibit Center, Fairgrounds, Camino del Coronado. Tucumcari
Precinct 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14: Tucumcari High School Auditorium, 724 West Gamble St., Tucumcari

For information call the Quay County Clerk’s Office at 461-0510.