Taxes for Nanaimo hospital district go up $5 per $100,000

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With the passage of the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District 2021 budget, the total tax requisition is up nearly $2.8 million from 2020 and translates into $21.15 per $100,000 in assessed property value, a $5 increase from last year.

The hospital district covers 40 per cent of any capital equipment and projects undertaken by Island Health; the province covers the remaining 60 per cent.

The NRHD board also unanimously passed borrowing bylaws for a total of $2.9 million for three large capital projects: replacement of a SPECT CT scanner, chemotherapy clinic and pharmacy expansion and a meal assembly and delivery system replacement.

A $3 million electronic health record expansion and upgrade has been deferred to 2024, and a 300-bed long-term care facility that was scheduled to begin this year has been delayed, according to the NRHD staff report. The hospital district has $16.5 million in reserve for future capital projects. The 2021 budget includes $3.8 in debt payments which will go toward paying down the outstanding debt balance of $26.6 million.

Island Health’s capital plan through 2035 proposes $2.6 billion in projects for NRGH, including a new patient tower. The hospital district’s 40 per cent contribution would equal $1 billion in today’s dollars. Staff estimate that, in order to accommodate all of Island Health’s requests, the 2022-25 tax requisition will increase $10 per $100,000 in assessed value each year.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder