Houston County voters reject raising property tax rate cap

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - For the second time in six months, voters in Houston County rejected a proposal to raise the property tax cap, money that would have funded the Houston County Hospital District.

Saturday's results indicate, 1,604 people voted against the proposal while 982 voted for the tax cap to be raised to 35 cents with a five-cent increase. Board member Bob Grier said even though the property tax rate cap was voted down, the plan is still on course to open the hospital doors at the beginning of August.

Back in October, Cordelia Horace found her mother almost unconscious at her home. She said the community is in need of a hospital.

"She was delusional and unresponsive, so I took her to our walk-in clinic on Fourth Street for them to check her out," Horace said.

But the staff there didn't have all the resources to stabilize her mother, Horace said, and so she had to be airlifted to Tyler.

"And after getting there they noticed that her blood sugar had gotten up to 1470," Horace said.

Horace's mother had gone into a diabetic coma said pharmacist Carole Martin, who helped the family until they reached a hospital.

"Normal blood sugar runs 70 to 120, that's a normal range, and when your blood sugar is that high, it has to be tapered down very, very slowly," Martin said. "Because if you drop it too low, the patient could go into a permanent coma or get permanent damage."

Grier said the proposal to raise the property rate tax cap to 35 cents with a five-cent increase to generate $500,000 a year.

"The proposal was defeated, the voters spoke and the board will go on," Grier said.

 He said it was sent to voters in order to help pay off the $7-million debt.
"With the $500,000 that would have been generated with this proposal, we could have paid down the debt significantly faster than we are going to be able to now," Grier said.

In just two months time, it will mark the one-year anniversary of this hospital closing, and many in the area say there is a great need for the doors to open up again.

"I just wish we could have gotten her to a nearer hospital to get her treated right then and there," Horace said.

Grier said the budget will be tight. At this time, the board does not have any plans to revisit a property tax rate cap proposal in the "foreseeable future."

Copyright 2018 KTRE. All rights reserved.