Voters in southwestern Missouri’s Cedar County have decided not to raise property taxes to help fund an area hospital.

Southwest Missouri voters oppose tax increase to help fund hospital

Missourinet affiliate KSGF in Springfield reports Cedar County Memorial Hospital in El Dorado Springs has been operating on the same $1.15 tax levy since it opened in 1960. Tuesday’s special election ballot proposal would have raised the tax levy for the average house by around 22 cents a day, or around $80 a year.

The hospital says it’s doing its best to keep things running. It ran a deficit of $1.5 million last year.

Springfield television station KYTV reports the vice president of the Cedar County Memorial Hospital board in El Dorado Springs, Carla Griffin, says the hospital “is not in IMMINENT danger of closing,” but employee cutbacks will need to be made.

The 25-bed hospital has more than 120 employees and is the second largest employer in the county. It includes a surgery center, sleep lab and wound care clinic.

Hundreds of rural health care centers have closed nationwide over the last 5 years, including seven in Missouri.

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