Colorado Senate Moves to Protect Rural Health Care
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – Nov. 18, 2023
Today, in an overwhelming bipartisan manner, the Colorado Senate voted to amend Senate Bill 23B-001, ensuring that life-saving health care services will be protected as policymakers work to mitigate the anticipated increase in residential property tax rates. The amendment helps ensure that the tax revenue reductions in specific rural areas will be “backfilled” in order to help protect hospitals and ambulance districts.
Facing an anticipated 40 percent increase in residential property tax rates next year, policymakers from both sides of the aisle are wrestling difficult decisions during the current special legislative session of the General Assembly. The need to lessen the effect on Coloradans is widely agreed upon, however any reduction for taxpayers has a significant impact on essential services reliant upon local property taxes. Twenty-six rural county and special district hospitals are dependent on property tax revenue, and 92 percent of those hospitals have patient service margins below sustainable levels.
“The policy options on the table are among the most complex our lawmakers face,” said Jeff Tieman, president and CEO of the Colorado Hospital Association, “but I’m glad to see that protecting essential health care services still transcends even the toughest of our politics. We are grateful for the bipartisan support for Colorado’s rural hospitals, clinics, and ambulance districts.
“Colorado Hospital Association thanks Senators from both parties, with special gratitude to Senators Chris Hansen, Kyle Mullica, Rod Pelton, Byron Pelton, Perry Will, and President Steve Fenberg for listening to the concerns of Colorado’s hospitals and taking action to protect rural health care.”