BONIFAY, Fla. (WMBB)–Doctors Memorial Hospital is celebrating a win after the Half-Cent Surtax Referendum was approved by voters. In a vote of 4,560 to 4,117, it passed. Hospital administrators say it will help the hospital and allow them to better serve their community.
“It is not a property tax so I think it’s a much more equitable way of asking the community in essence to support a community hospital like this,” said Dr. Huy Nguyen, Doctors Memorial Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer.
The new sales tax is set to go into effect on January 1st and will help the hospital pay for costs that have piled up since they first opened their doors.
“We took out a bond or we issued a bond in order to open this fairly new hospital, this hospital has been around since 2008,” said Dr. Huy Nguyen.
Along with helping pay off debt, Dr. Nguyen says it will benefit current and future patients.
“We treat everybody regardless of their ability to pay and in doing so we obviously have to write off services that we will never recoup in terms of getting reimbursed for,” said Dr. Huy Nguyen.
Residents who voted to pass the referendum say it’s important to support the hospital.
“This hospital does a lot of good and they’ve saved a lot of people. You can get treatment here that you can get almost anywhere else,” said Richard Slay, a Holmes County resident.
Staff say they have big plans for the hospital’s future and this new sales tax will support them every step of the way.
“In the months to come, we’re gonna in essence start providing care to the western side of the county,” said Dr. Huy Nguyen.
The sales tax will only be in effect for 6 years, and Dr. Nguyen does not anticipate it to be needed again in the future.