Hospital encourages residents to approve tax for emergency room

Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 6:17 PM CDT
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PIGGOTT, Ark. (KAIT) - People in Piggott will have the chance to continue a sales tax that has been drastically helping the emergency room at the Piggott Community Hospital.

Since 2011, a one-cent sales tax has gone to the Piggott Community Hospital to pay for the expenses in the emergency room.

When it was first implemented, the funding was not much, but James Magee, CEO of Piggott Health System, said there has been a sharp increase over time.

“When it first started, we were probably getting somewhere around $25,000 a month and that has grown to around $40,000 to $50,000 a month,” Magee said.

Magee said the emergency room was a spot that saw 7,000 patients last year.

He added he doesn’t know what they would do without it.

“Having that money available to be able to help with the expenses of the ER, of course, is a very important part,” Magee continued. “And if you’re a rural small hospital and health system all money is important.”

Locals like Monte Howell feel the same way.

Howell said in a county with very few doctors, the hospital, and more specifically the emergency room, is huge.

“That hospital is really important, it employs a lot of people and it’s important to have a hospital like that in a small town,” Howell said.

Residents will have the chance to continue the one-cent sales tax on May 9 and, if approved, it will stay in place for another five years.