Vermilion

Oct 13, 2010 7:37 PM by Carolyn Cerda

Kaplan Hospital Tax


A hospital in Vermilion Parish is banking on voters to keep it's doors open. A sales tax in Kaplan is up for renewal on November 2nd. If passed, it will continue to fund Abrom Kaplan Memorial Hospital. The hospital has served Vermilion Parish residents for 50 years, as the only Hospital in Kaplan.

The 1 cent sales tax began 10 years ago, and generates $1 million for the hospital every year. Hospital administrators say the funds go towards emergency room operations.

"Revenues from that tax is strictly to keep our ER doors open in which we have 24/7," said Lyman Trahan, Abrom Hospital administrator.

Without those funds, the emergency room could close. And, if the tax fails, officials say not only could the emergency room close, but so could the entire hospital.

"I think if the community doesn't have an emergency room, you don't really have a hospital," said Trahan.

"I don't think it (the hospital) could survive without this sales tax," said Kaplan Mayor, Kirk Champagne.

Champagne says if the tax fails and the hospital does indeed close, it could devastate the city's economy.

"Things are tough right now. The economy is not doing real well, people are struggling," said Champagne. "For us, it's probably the most important tax we've passed in years."

Abrom Hospital is the largest employer in Kaplan, and officials fear layoffs could follow a "no" vote.

" We would have to certainly tighten our belt. Which would mean either cutting hours for employees or letting them go," said Trahan.

The sales tax renewal will be on ballots in Hospital Service District No. 1.

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