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(Denison, IA) – At its January meeting, the Crawford County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) Board of Trustees discussed the property tax rate for the 2019 fiscal year (FY) budget. The Board reviewed a variety of data regarding past levy amounts as well as the hospital costs the property tax levy covers. The Trustees voted to set the levy rate at $1.60240 per $1000 of taxable valuation for FY2019. The Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing for the proposed budget and taxation rate at its next meeting on Monday, February 26 at 5:30 pm in Meeting Room D at CCMH.

According to the Iowa Code, hospitals are allowed to levy for a variety of expenses including State of Iowa mandated retirement contributions, payroll taxes, health and disability insurance premiums, liability insurance, worker compensation, state unemployment benefits, ambulance services and the general fund. The amount of tax for FY2019 represents about 3% of overall CCMH income and only 25% of the qualified expenses for which it can levy property tax. The balance of CCMH income (97%) is received through patient care services, grants and gifts.

Historically, CCMH levied property taxes at $1.56577 per $1000 of taxable valuation from FY2012 through FY2016. In FY2017 and FY2018, the levy was $1.52313 per $1000 of taxable valuation. The total amount of property tax collected has risen in large part due to higher property valuations. Total property valuations are expected to increase 2.22% in FY2019.

The total amount of qualified expenses CCMH is allowed to levy under State law is estimated at $6,393,231 for fiscal year 2019. Based on those estimated expenses, the Board of Trustees could levy $6.30788 per $1000 of taxable valuation to fund those costs.

However, the Trustees discussed the specific expenses to be offset by property taxes in the FY2019 budget. Following discussion, the Board concluded it would levy 25% of what is allowed under State law. This would enable enough support to partially fund ambulance services and State mandated retirement fund contributions. The Trustees voted to set the levy rate at $1.60240 per $1000 of taxable valuation.

After the public hearing, the Board of Trustees can vote to approve the final budget and levy amount or set a new amount and hold another hearing. The levy must be submitted to the county auditor by March 15.