What in the world in a hospital mill levy?

In The Wind

Mark DeLap
Posted 10/18/22

Explanation of what will be on the ballot come November

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What in the world in a hospital mill levy?

In The Wind


It’s something that is coming up on the ballot in November. Just the mention of it brings up questions and speculation. And lots of misinformation.

First of all, mill. You can easily find the answer to this term on our Platte County “Language of Assessment” page. A “mill” is literally, one-thousandth. For tax purposes: $1 of taxes for every $1,000 of assessed value.

Next, Mill levy: “Mill Levy” is the number of dollars in taxes that a property owner must pay for every $1,000 of assessed value. This amount is based on budget requests from various taxing entities.

So. That being said, we are all helping to pay for a hospital to operate in our town. And… this is where is gets murky. A quick “fun fact” about our hospital. The “Platte County Memorial Hospital” is not owned by Banner Health.

The hospital, the grounds, the equipment all belongs to all of us that pay taxes. It’s our responsibility. It has a hospital board run by some of the most upstanding people in Platte County. They meet each month to monitor the status of both the hospital and Legacy Home which is also under the care of the Platte County Hospital Board.

The Platte County Memorial Hospital & Legacy Home Foundation Board is a 501(c)(3) organization comprised of seven board members. The purpose of the Foundation is to develop and organize financial support for the maintenance and operations of Platte County Memorial Hospital (located at 201 14th St., Wheatland) and the Platte County Legacy Home (located at 100 19th St., Wheatland). The Board is interested in assisting the promotion of health care services to the people of Platte County, Wyoming. The seven members of the board serve five-year terms and are appointed by the Board of Platte County Commissioners. There is no limit on the number of terms a board member can serve.

More about Banner. Like or dislike them, they bring a lot of revenue into our community. Not only in paying a lease of $399K a month, but they hire all the staff and pay all the staff – not to mention staff benefits. That means in “trickle-down” jargon. Each time they get paid (By Banner) and buy groceries at local grocer or clothes at a local clothier, they are indirectly putting money into our community.

Not taking sides here, just stating a fact.

Very basic answers to some of the questions concerning the mill levy. One misnomer is that the levy is asking for more money than it ever has before in any previous election. Wrong. It’s been the same amount… your vote simply says, yes I am going to continue to help be responsible to have a hospital in our town.

A hospital in our town. There are literally millions. Yes, millions of testimonies from people all over America crying because they have no health care close to them. Testimonies of people who died because they couldn’t get to a health facility in time or died in the back of an ambulance that got stuck in traffic. Testimonies of others who don’t seek treatment because they can’t afford to do health care long distance.

It would probably be a good place to mention here that Wheatland not only has a hospital, which is attractive to new people who want to move to our area, but we have a five-star assisted living facility in Legacy Home. How important is it to know that your parents and family are receiving some of the best care in Wyoming? Priceless.

If you want to google an excellent article on the advantage of community hospitals, click on: https://www.hhmglobal.com/knowledge-bank/news/how-people-can-benefit-from-a-community-hospital#:~:text=In%20addition%20to%20providing%20services,patients%2C%20like%20screenings%20and%20dialysis

I would love to reprint it word for word, but I have to be space-savvy.

The Mill Levy helps to provide upgrades, keeps our buildings up to code not only in the municipality but in the healthcare community.

Now… to further put to rest the rumors, the Hospital Distric Mills. In Platte County the hospital district encompasses the entire county. Not just Wheatland. No matter what, the hospital district boards are guaranteed the ability to request up to three mills. This doesn’t have to be voted on.

Any addition to the mill levy, however does have to be voted on. And here in Platte County it was. The election jargon now simply states, do you want to continue with the mill levy as is.  The question on the ballot reads: “Shall the Platte County Hospital District Continue the mill levy increase from three mills to six mills to provide additional funding to support the Platte County nursing home and other district services (ie: hospital and assisted living).”

Bottom line. Is this mill levy asking you to dig deeper this year? Is it requesting more money than we’re already paying? No. There is no increase from what we have been paying. Read that twice. I know, I know… it’s the legal jargon that makes it seem crazy. Look at the word “CONTINUE.” This is a continuing levy – not a new levy.

Again. None of this money goes to Banner Health or if another management hospital would come in to run and manage our facility. Banner does go above and beyond with monitary help, but ultimately this is our facility. Yours and mine as taxpayers. I mean… I pay rent, but if my landlord wanted me to kick in to upgrade the kitchen or living facilities, that would be Ludacris.

I think we have so many advantages having a hospital here remembering that no hospital or management entity of that hospital is without its challenges. There are no hospitals that are perfect. What I do love is that that the parents of the children going to our schools, shopping at our stores and cheering next to us at football games are the ones who ultimately are our caregivers in times of crisis.

And that to me is also priceless. I’ve been to the big cities, worked with caregivers I didn’t know, felt alone and alienated after having to travel many miles to get care. It is so much better having a neighbor holding my hand in that emergency room. It is so much better have a nurse you know bring your baby into your room for the first time. And it is so much better having staff peeking their heads in the door even while they are “off duty” to check on you.

Don’t throw our baby out with the bathwater. We are a blessed community to be able to not only have a healthcare facility, but members of our own community who work there.