The Ector County Hospital District Board of Directors adopted the 2012 ad valorem tax rate and the Fiscal Year 2013 operating and capital budgets at a special meeting Thursday.
The board approved an ad valorem tax rate of 4.9 cents per $100 valuation and an operating budget of $244.9 million.
No one spoke during a public hearing on the FY 2013 budget before the regular meeting.
The operating budget is $17 million more than last year’s budget ($227.8 million).
Robert Abernethy, Medical Center Hospital chief financial officer, said the budget was higher this year because of various expenses, such as salaries and wages.
“The big part of it was we’ve got salaries and wages going up roughly about $12 million,” he said. “Benefits associating with those (are) going up about $3 million. Included in the budget is a market adjustment (cost of living) for all employees of 2 percent and then a 3 percent merit increase during the year.”
The adopted tax rate was 5.2 cents last year, but the district was able to adopt a lower rate this year and still impose the same amount of taxes — $54.30 — as last year on an average home. The average taxable value of residence homestead increased this year over last year, from $104,252 to $109,079 this year, the OA reported in a previous story.
Also during the meeting, the board approved the Texas County and District Retirement System annual contribution, the FY 2013 TEAM Share Employee Incentive Program and the FY 2013 MCH Professional Care Funding Agreement.
Carol Durham, MCH’s associate administrator, answered questions on the TEAM Share program, and Julian Beseril, executive director of MCH ProCare, fielded questions on the MCH ProCare funding agreement.
The board also approved burden alleviation agreements with several hospitals around Texas and a management services agreement with Permian Basin Clinical Servicing Partnership.