Later this month, voters in Calcasieu Parish Wards 4 and 7 and Cameron Parish Ward 6, Precincts 3 and 4,  will be asked to renew a tax supporting the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

The renewal is in the amount of 6.95 mills on all taxable property within the hospital’s district, for a period of 10 years.

The stated purpose of the tax renewal, according to information found on the hospital’s website, is:

“Improving, maintaining, operating, and supporting the District’s hospital facilities, including equipment purchases, maintaining and expanding the District’s Emergency Department capabilities, supporting the Therapeutic Riding Center and the District’s Rural Health Clinics in Vinton and Hackberry.”

The millage would be capped, per WCCH board covenant, at 6.95 mills for 10 years on all property subject to taxation within the District.

“In addition, there is a pledge to roll that back if we reach 90 to 100 days of operating expenses through the next annual millage levy date,” said WCCH CEO, Janie Frugé.

Frugé noted that a 2006-08 bond issue of 2.58 mills expired in December of this past year. Residents will actually see a decrease in taxes from the past seven years.

Residents whose homes are tax exempt and have an assessed value of up to $75,000 will pay no tax. For those with homes valued at $100,000-$150,000, their annual tax would be $17.38, or $1.35 a month.

Those with home valued at $150,000-$199,999, their annual tax would be $52.13, or $4.34 a month. Those with homes valued at $200,000-$299,999 would pay $86.88 a year, or $7.24 a month. These estimates are based on a home filed for homestead exemption.

Sulphur and Westlake city councils have each unanimously passed resolutions in support of the renewal this month.  

In presentations to local councils, Frugé said the hospital is requesting the renewal due to several factors, including changes in healthcare reimbursements, an increase in the number of uninsured patients in the area, the high costs of new technology and information systems, and the increasing costs of maintaining facilities and equipment.

Early voting for the renewal begins April 14 and runs through April 21. The election is Saturday, April 28.