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Travis County Commissioners Approve Central Health’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget and Property Tax Rate

(Austin, TX) —On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the Travis County Commissioners Court approved Central Health’s fiscal year 2017 budget and property tax rate by a vote of 4-0.

“We appreciate the support of Travis County Commissioners and all of the community members who showed up to speak in support of our proposed budget and tax rate,” said Patricia Young Brown, Central Health president and CEO. “The FY 17 budget and tax rate approved today allows us to continue our mission and expand health care services for low-income Travis County residents as we work with our partners to transform health care delivery in our community.”

Central Health’s approved budget reflects the priorities of Travis County residents who in 2012 voted to support Proposition 1, which increased Central Health’s property tax rate to fund the transformation of the health care delivery system to better meet the needs of our growing population of low-income, uninsured residents.

Highlights of the FY17 budget include:
• Enhance primary care services so people can get healthy, stay well, and decrease more costly hospital visits.
• Improve the Medical Access Program (MAP) to ensure more low-income patients have access to care.
• Improve specialty care, like orthopedics, to reduce wait times.
• Improve women’s health services by standardizing and decentralizing care to better serve low-income women closer to where they live.
• Continue the transition to “value-based” care that aims to improve patient outcomes while lowering the per-patient cost of care.
• Redevelopment of the Central Health Brackenridge Campus, which will generate revenue for decades to come to pay for health care services for our safety net population.
• Support new and improved services using local funds and earning matching federal dollars through the 1115 Medicaid Waiver projects.

“Our overarching goal with this and every budget is to provide quality health care to well over 100,000 thousand Travis County residents who need it,” said Katrina Daniel, chairperson of the Central Health Board of Managers. “Every year we help more people access better quality care than the year before, from essential and often life-saving primary care, to pre-natal services, to specialized care like pulmonology. Central Health and those we serve are grateful to the Travis County Commissioners Court for their support, and to every taxpayer in Travis County. We’re also grateful to our partners – our work wouldn’t be possible without them.”

In fiscal year 2015, Central Health provided health care services for 109,428 individuals, up from 96,600 the previous year. Approximately 96 percent of the fiscal year 2017 budget will fund health care services.

Central Health Fiscal Year 2017 budget breakdown:
• The fiscal year 2017 budget approved by the Travis County Commissioner’s Court is $240.1 million.
• The total rate per $100 of taxable valuation is 11.0541 cents, slightly lower than the FY16 rate.
• Travis County Commissioners approved a tax rate of 4.5 percent over the effective tax rate – the tax rate that would generate the same amount of revenue in the current tax year as was generated by the adopted tax rate in FY 16.
• For the average-priced home of $285,152, the annual tax bill will be $315.21. This is a 1.8 percent increase over FY16, or a total annual increase of $5.59.
• At 4.6 percent, Central Health’s percentage share in property taxes is the lowest of all Travis County taxing jurisdictions. It’s also the lowest tax rate of all major hospital districts in Texas.
• Ninety-six percent of Central Health’s FY17 budget will be used for health care delivery, with less than 4 percent for administration.

In addition to property tax revenue, Central Health maximizes every available tax dollar in part by drawing down hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funds. For every one dollar of property tax funding collected, Central Health delivers more than three dollars in health care services for Travis County residents.