Mill Levy & Community Support – Fast Facts
Thank you to the citizens of Taos County for voting to approve this important support for our local hospital.
In 2016 Holy Cross Hospital asked the community to come together in support of our local hospital and vote to approve a 1 mill levy on property tax. The mill levy was approved with resounding support and in 2020 we asked the community to come together in support a renewal of the 1 mill levy. With a huge voter turnout, there were over 15,000 votes cast. We are proud to say that 72% of voters county approved the mill levy.
This is a wonderful testament to the hard work and dedication provided by the Holy Cross employees. We will continue to use the mill levy funding responsibly and transparently.
On a national level, rural hospitals are still struggling with many of the same issues we experience here in Taos and the COVID-19 pandemic has made access to healthcare in rural areas more important than ever. The issues we have faced fo continue to worsen for rural hospitals around the country. We have made many great improvements with the original mill levy funding, and the renewal of the mill levy we can continue to provide the highest quality care in a rural setting.
Thank you for your continued support.
In Taos County and beyond, hospital dollars and employee earnings, along with taxes generated by the facility and it’s people, create a ripple effect that improves the life we love.
$90 Million in total hospital expenditures impact
$59 Million spent directly by Holy Cross
$31 Million more in secondary expenditures like the purchase of local goods and services
411 Jobs and $42 Million in labor income impact
411 full and part-time hospital employees made $32 million in earnings and benefits. 300 more workers brought home $9 million from jobs supported by hospital business.
For the past 80 years, Holy Cross Hospital has been here to care for our community. From our roots as a small rural hospital in a building donated by Mabel Dodge Lujan, to our current state-of-the-art medical center providing a vast range of services, we’re dedicated to serving Taos residents and visitors.
This is a Local Tax, but it’s a National Issue for Rural Hospitals
Rural hospitals across the state and country face many of the same issues we face right here in Taos.
Over 20% of rural hospitals, the equivalent of 430 hospitals across 43 states are at risk of closing their doors. Since 2010, at least 96 rural hospitals have closed. More than 40% of rural hospitals operate at a negative margin.
Many rural hospitals have to spend more money than they receive in order to operate. These negative margins make tax support a necessity for rural hospitals to continue to provide services.
Rural hospitals face many of the same issues that we face here in Taos:
- Declining reimbursement levels from Federal and State governments, Medicare, and Medicaid.
- A high number of uninsured patients leading to rising uncompensated care. We are a rural hospital in a very poor state. As a non-profit hospital, we provide emergency medical services to anyone who needs them, regardless of their ability to pay. Historically, state and federal reimbursements helped pay for the high numbers of unpaid visits our rural hospital provides. Now, many of these reimbursement programs have been significantly reduced or have been eliminated altogether, while we are still providing those medical services.
- Health professionals moving to bigger cities for higher compensation. Smaller rural hospitals can’t compete with the salaries of larger hospitals and have fewer resources.
- Smaller rural populations. Rural populations are falling, leading to a decline in inpatient admissions. A majority of patients in rural communities rely on government-sponsored plans or are uninsured.
For more information refer to the following articles:
- Rural hospital closings reach crisis stage, leaving millions without nearby health care – Salon.com
- Why rural hospitals are struggling and what can be done – BizJournals.com
Current Mill Levy Expenditures
Since 2016 we have been using mill levy funding to keep up with needed repairs and equipment upgrades. Bill Patten, CEO of Holy Cross Medical Center gives an update regarding how mill levy funding has been used.
Property and Gross Receipts Taxes by County
Many of the rural hospitals in New Mexico are struggling with the same issues that Holy Cross Hospital experiences. It is very common for a county to have a mill levy in place to support local hospitals. Taos County has one of the lowest tax rates for healthcare related services in the state (4.25 for Colfax, 4.25 for Rio Arriba, and 6.4 for Bernalillo, and just 1 for Taos). For a full list of the New Mexico tax rates by county please click on the link below.
What is a mill levy?
A mill levy is a tax rate that is charged based on the net taxable value of a property. The net taxable value value of a property is not the full appraisal value of the property, but a reduced amount. In Taos the net taxable value of a property is 1/3 of the value of a property as decided by the county. One mill reflects $1 per $1,000 of the net taxable value of a property in Taos County and lasts for 4 years before it comes up for renewal.
According to the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration Taos County property owners are currently paying between 12.9 and 25 mills depending on their location in the county.
There are exemptions for property that is used for ‘agricultural purposes’. You can learn more and find the form you need here at the Taos County Website.