Half-Cent Tax in Madison

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Madison County voters will give a thumbs up or a thumbs down to raising taxes to build a brand new hospital, but rumors are spreading, which could determine the outcome of the proposed measure.

Red campaign signs dominate several street corners in Madison County, encouraging residents to vote for the half-cent sales tax to build a brand new hospital.

Marsha White said, "Some people don't have transportation and you know we need a better hospital here, especially for the elderly people."

Billie Jean Fuqua said, "We need a new hospital, and the half-cent tax is not bad for what we're going to get out of it."

And what they'll get is a state of the art facility. In the past few years administrators have been spending money on maintenance, bandaging problems to keep it in good condition.

Administrators say Madison County Hospital was built in 1954, and they still have a/c units in the windows. They say in the last six months the air conditioning system has been repaired 25 times.

Rumors have been running rampant that the hospital staff will use the money to boost their own salaries and to fund daily operations, but hospital officials say that's simply not true.

David Acrombie said, "Number one it is literally and guaranteed to save lives. Number two, it will literally guarantee to provide jobs for thousands of people in the next 30 years and it will pump into the local economy at least $36 million every year."

Voters will make the ultimate decision whether they want to cough up another half penny for a new hospital or not.