Vote yes to extend hospital mill levy
As an active community of nearly 6,000 full-time residents, and one that swells to nearly 25,000 during the peak weekends, Aspen is fortunate to have a hospital to call its own.
As part of a special taxing district, which encompasses most of Pitkin County, the hospital also has its own elected board of directors, and is supported, in part, by a property tax, better known as the mill levy.
Proceeds from the mill levy, which voters originally approved in 1995, are earmarked for the hospital’s operational costs. This Tuesday’s mail-in election is the fourth time voters will be asked to approve a levy of up to 1.5 mills; as it stands, the current mill is set at 0.97. Last year, it generated $3.5 million for the hospital.
To the property owner, the mill levy is a small price to pay, accounting for 3.2 percent of a homeowner’s property taxes.
The levy expires Dec. 31, and it’s more critical during lean years, which is what AVH, and most institutions, are enduring at the moment.
At the very least, the mill levy helps provide revenue that funds AVH’s general upkeep, salaries and technology. The tax would not, as some have claimed, go toward the hospital’s proposed expansion.
There are those who have been critical of the hospital over the years, and some of that criticism has been justified. But, to the hospital’s credit, the board of directors has responded to the criticism by addressing the problems with its billing system, hiring a solid CEO, and continuing its community outreach effort with blood draws, heath fairs, etc.
AVH is an asset to the community, and we encourage voters to approve the renewal of the mill levy. Also, make sure to have your ballot mailed in by Tuesday, May 5.
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Traveling, sharing the passion and excitement of skiing and the coming winter is a ritual Warren Miller started and one Miller Ford is proud to carry on.