Oklahoma sales tax vote to decide fate of county hospital

Leo Vartorella - Print  | 

Jefferson County, Okla., voters will go to the polls March 5 to decide whether they want to continue a sales tax that helps support the struggling Jefferson County Hospital in Waurika, according to KSWO, an ABC affiliate.

Jefferson County Hospital nearly closed a few years ago after going $2.2 million in debt. The sales tax, along with help from nearby Duncan  Regional Hospital, has kept the hospital open. The tax is set to end in October, but would continue to October 2024 if residents vote in favor of it.

If the tax is allowed to expire, the hospital would not close, but would not be able to carry out planned improvements.

"There are plans for the hospital going forward to improve and do enhancements with the facility, and we wouldn't be able to do those enhancements, and then Duncan Regional would have to pay the balance of the debt," said Richard Gillespie, president of the hospital.  

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