The Central Health Board of Managers on Aug. 19 unanimously approved a proposed fiscal year 2016 budget and property tax rate.
Highlights of the budget include:
- The continued development of new and improved primary care, specialty care, behavioral health and women’s health services utilizing local funds with matching federal dollars;
- Partnering with the Community Care Collaborative to build information technology systems that will allow health care, social service and financial assistance providers to collaborate, track and manage all aspects of a patient’s care;
- Continuing support of the new Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, scheduled to open in summer 2016;
- Maintaining a fiscally sound reserve balance that will allow Central Health to continue providing essential health care services to the low-income population in Travis County in the future.
Central Health’s proposed budget reflects the priorities Travis County residents established when they voted to support Proposition 1 in 2012, which increased Central Health’s property tax rate.
“Because of Proposition 1, Central Health continues to leverage local funds to draw in hundreds of millions of dollars in federal performance incentives. This funding is allowing us to initiate new preventative care, women’s health, behavioral health and specialty care programs with measurable goals and outcomes,” said Patricia Young Brown, Central Health president and CEO. “We are delivering on the promises made to residents when they voted to support Proposition 1 in 2012.”
The board is proposing a total FY16 budget of $295.8 million. For the 2016 fiscal year, Central Health is proposing a tax rate of 12.06 cents per $100 of property valuation-a 0.58 cent reduction from 2015. At the proposed rate, the average homeowner would see an increase of $1.06 to their monthly tax bill. The board and staff believe the proposed tax rate and budget will allow Central Health to manage the expectations set forth by the community, with the needs of those who need help most.
“We are working to develop an inclusive health care ecosystem in our community by transforming the way safety net health care is delivered,” said Katrina Daniel, chairperson of the Central Health Board of Managers. “To achieve our goals, we must maintain sufficient reserves to ensure the programs and services Central Health supports for our most vulnerable residents continue in good and bad economic times.”
The proposed budget and tax rate will be presented to the Travis County Commissioners Court on Aug. 25. A final vote is expected Sept. 29.