The Young County Citizens for Responsible Taxation has recently issued a moratorium of 30 to 45 days on its pursuit of a repeal of the GRMC taxing district.

According to a Facebook post, the PAC intends “to give a local investment group time to pursue support for a privately funded hospital group.” The group had planned to man the main visitor's area of the Graham Senior Citizen Center on the evenings of March 4, 5, 6 and 7 to collect signatures for its repeal petition, but due to the delay, the YCCRT will now use those times and that location to answer any questions from concerned citizens.

The Young County Citizens for Responsible Taxation believes that the taxing district must be repealed, and that the citizens of Graham cannot bear the burden of an added 36.5 cents of annual ad valorem taxes.

The six-week-old group headed by Graham resident Carl Buschmann is not convinced that if the taxing district is repealed the hospital will have to close down. Many members claim that better management of the hospital could render it solvent without having to burden property owners with extra taxes.

On the other end of the issue, proponents of the taxing district say that should the repeal of the taxing district go through, the hospital will close down. Advocates of the hospital taxing district say that if that happens, the implications for the city could reach much farther than just the immediate health of its citizens.

At the second meeting of the Young County Citizens for Responsible Taxation held at the Graham Senior Citizen Center, Buschmann and City Councilman Jack Graham debated language within the Texas Health and Safety Code, specifically sections 286.102 through 286.106. What the two men debated about centered around what would happen to the hospital if the taxing district is dissolved.

According to section 286.104 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, “If the district does not transfer the land, buildings, improvements, equipment, and other assets to a county or another governmental entity in the district, the board shall continue to control and administer the property, debts, and assets of the district until all funds have been disposed of and all district debts have been paid or settled.”

Essentially, this means that if the repeal of the taxing district goes through with no person, business or group purchasing the hospital, it will be offered to the county or other governmental entity. If, for example, the county takes over the hospital in the event of the repeal of the taxing district, then according to chapter section 282.103 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, “the county or entity assumes all debts and obligations of the district at the time of the transfer, and the district is dissolved.”

Read the entire story in this weekend's Graham Leader.