Telluride Hospital District To Ask for Tax Increase on November Ballot

A request to raise taxes for an approximate $9 per every $100,000 of actual residential valuation, to benefit the Telluride Medical Center, will be presented to voters this November. On Thursday the Telluride Medical Center joined the Telluride Fire Department and Telluride School District in asking for additional funds. Representatives from all three taxing districts point to the Gallagher Amendment as a top factor for going to the voters.

If approved, ballot measure 6B will raise $960,851 in 2019 to be used for the medical center’s general operating and other purposes including ongoing Level 5, 24/7 emergency and trauma services, and updating medical equipment—including modernizing the CT scanner to improve diagnosis and treatment of injuries and illnesses—according to ballot language approved last week by the Telluride Hospital District's board of directors.

Measure 6B goes on to ask voters to sustain that increase in tax revenues, beginning in 2020, as needed to offset the Gallagher Amendment.

“We’ve concluded this is the best—maybe only way—to both maintain current operations while also adapting primary and emergency services for a growing population and visitor base,” said the medical center’s CEO, John Gardner.

“In addition to how the Gallagher Amendment affects us, we’re faced with exponentially rising costs of business and facility operations, information technology requirements and upgrades, and increased costs for drugs and supplies. Meanwhile insurance company premiums have ballooned while insurance reimbursements have not maintained pace,” said Gardner.

According to Gardner, polling research executed last month indicated the majority of the respondents support this measure.

The Telluride Hospital District has not requested additional funds since 2002 when voters approved an increase of $1.28 per every $100,000 of actual residential valuation to allow the clinic to offer 24/7 emergency medical services.

“Over these last sixteen years we have spent more than four million dollars on capital equipment and facility improvements without having to go back to voters,” said Kate Wadley, development director for the fundraising arm of the Hospital District.

“Like other taxing districts who are asking voters for help, this is a last resort for us,” she said.

Measure 6B will appear on the ballots of voters throughout the county, with the exception of Precincts 4 and 5, which are home to Norwood and Egnar and their respective surrounding areas.

Gardner anticipates a PAC would soon form to handle the responsibility of raising awareness and support for the measure.

Press ReleasesBeth Kelly