Voters in the City of Pullman will once again be considering a hospital expansion bond measure.
The Pullman Regional Hospital Commissioners unanimously voted to place a 27.5 million dollar facility expansion bond on the November ballot. The board approved the financing plan during a special meeting on Tuesday for a 45 million dollar facility expansion and remodel project. Most of the money would come from a voter-approved bond with 10 million dollars from hospital borrowing and 7.5 million dollars in hospital funds and private donations. The project would involve 80,000 square feet of new construction and remodeled space. PRH officials say the project is needed to ease overcrowding and make room for expanded services.
If approved the 30-year bond would increase property taxes in the City of Pullman by 76 cents a year for every thousand dollars of tax assessed value. If voters agree it would cost the owner of a Pullman home assessed at a quarter million dollars 190 dollars annually. That’s less expensive than the two PRH facility expansion bond measures that failed in 2019 which were valued at a dollar per thousand dollars of assessed value. Following those bond failures, the PRH board tried to extend its property taxing authority past city limits. That annexation request was rejected by Pullman area voters last fall. PRH Commissioner Karen Karpman says she understands that tax increases are difficult but she believes this proposal is necessary. You can listen to her comments by clicking on the audio file below.
The November PRH facility expansion bond needs a super majority 60% approval for passage.
The commissioners noted that as Pullman grows and the tax base expands the rate per thousand to pay off the bond would go down.
The board considered a bond amount of up to 29.5 million dollars.