Voters approve continuation of hospital tax

Quay County voters overwhelmingly approved the continuation of an existing special gross receipts tax benefiting Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital in a special election Tuesday.

More than 93 percent of voters were in favor of the continuing the tax for the next six years.

With 11.5 percent of registered voters participating, the final vote was 488 to 36.

“On behalf of Dr. Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital’s Community Board of Trustees, the medical staff, employees and volunteers as well as every patient we serve, we deeply appreciate the voters’ support, trust and confidence placed in us as we provide for your healthcare needs on a daily basis,” hospital administrator Lance Labine said in a statement. “This tax has been vital to Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital since its approval in 1987 and more so now.”

The existing tax, equal to one-eighth of 1 percent of gross receipts, raises about $200,000 per year to support operations, maintenance, remodeling and new medical clinics for the 25-bed acute care facility in Tucumcari, Labine said.

The tax has been in effect since 1987. The last time the tax was continued was in 2007 by a vote of 774 to 112.

Only 15 percent of registered voters turned out for the election, said Veronica Marez, Quay County Clerk.

“It is extremely important to support this hospital,” County Manager Richard Primrose said. “It’s important not only for the citizens of Quay County but for the traveling public.”

Primrose said Dan C. Trigg is the only critical care hospital available to many county residents and tourist traveling on Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 54. He said the improvements allow the hospital to provide critical-care treatment, and the stationing of a Tri-State Careflight helicopter allows quick transportation for those in need of further medical treatment.

Primrose said Trigg hospital is also the only hospital between Amarillo and Albuquerque that has a fully staffed emergency room 24 hours a day.

Labine said a recent change in the formula for the sole community provider fund has reduced the amount of federal money Trigg receives each year. He said the SCPF along with a county’s newly approved gross receipts tax is the facility’s lifeblood.

According to a fact sheet published by Trigg Hospital, funds from this special tax have been used for purposes that include remodeling the hospital’s Primary Care Clinic, defraying health-care costs through the federal Sole Community Provider program for Quay County residents who otherwise could not afford their care, and a new digital mammography machine.

Labine saidfunds also have been used to upgrade x-ray technologies, including CT scan devices and x-ray diagnostic equipment. Such funds have also helped provide a C-arm device that assists in surgery in the hospital’s operating room.

 

Voting results by precincts

Precinct For-against

House 16- 2

Forrest 14-4

San Jon 47-4

Logan/Nara Visa 69-4

Tucumcari 159-12

Early/absentee voting 183-10

Totals 488-36

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