Valley General asks for levy increase
MONROE - Valley General Hospital will be proposing its first levy increase since the late 1990s this spring.
The levy will go before voters in April and will ask for 37 cents per $1,000 assessed home value. The average homeowner in the hospital district would pay about $74 a year. The average home value in the district is $200,000. The district covers east Snohomish County.
The hospital’s current levy rate of 14 cents is the lowest in the state among public hospitals.
Hospital spokeswoman Collette Reams said the hospital’s decision to keep the rate low for so many years is the reason for the increase.
“In hindsight, the hospital district should have kept up on its levy rate, and we have now found ourselves with the lowest rate in the state,” Reams said. “We have some making up to do.”
The levy needs a simple majority to pass.
“We wouldn’t start seeing the revenue (from the levy) until July 2014,” Reams said.
Valley General recently became an affiliate of EvergreenHealth of Kirkland, also a public hospital district.
Funding for improvements that will come by partnering with Evergreen need to come from somewhere.
“(The affiliation) is an expansion of the great services that Evergreen provides like all the specialties that they have,” Reams said. “If Evergreen sees that we should provide this, they can’t just write us a check. They have a responsibility for their own taxpayers in their own district.”
Evergreen also has affiliations with Virginia Mason and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which Reams said will ultimately benefit Valley General in its expansion of services.
Valley General’s board of commissioners approved the levy proposal last month.
In December, Valley General welcomed Debbie Brown as the new head of the nursing department. Brown comes from EvergreenHealth where she had been since 1975.
“Debbie is a highly motivated individual who fosters an atmosphere of teamwork and collaboration by mentoring others to excel in their role and to work together in partnership guided by organizational vision and mission,” Reams said. “She is driven to deliver excellence in care to each individual patient that we serve.”
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