A portion of Modoc County voters on Tuesday approved the creation of a hospital district and a parcel tax of $195 per year to save its bankrupt medical center.
The hard-red rural county (population 9,184) is the largest per-capita recipient of state spending. Their tiny medical center has been losing money for a decade, despite the county supervisor's cutbacks in service and improper allocation of state funds intended for education and transportation.
The County requested a $12.5 million loan from the state after a State Controller's audit revealed that the supervisors had misallocated... $12.5 million dollars. The new hospital district will generate $3.1 million per year and be governed by its own board, independently of the the County.
Modoc has 5,667 registered voters, Only 3,724 voters whose properties lie within the new district participated in the mail-in election. Turnout among those was 63%. The vote to create the district passed by 70% and the vote for the parcel tax passed by 68%.
Two myths have been busted in Modoc:
1) The myth of Republican fiscal competence, and
2) The myth that California voters will not tax themselves to fund government-run services.