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Iowa - The work begins for county run EMS

12 Jun 2024 7:46 AM | Matt Zavadsky (Administrator)

The work begins for county run EMS

Emergency Medical Services in Henry County could transition from Henry County Health Center to the county itself

AnnaMarie Ward

Jun. 5, 2024


MT. PLEASANT — Henry County Supervisors approved and adopted the third and final reading of a resolution which declares emergency medical services as an essential county service in Henry County.

If all goes well and voters approve the tax levy this November, Emergency Medical Services will become a Henry County entity.

“The Board hereby declares EMS to be a central county service in the county and hereby directs that any and all other actions be taken as necessary to proceed with the process under Iowa Code 422D.1 to declare EMS an essential county service,” Supervisor Greg Moeller read from the resolution at Thursday, May 30 Board of Supervisors meeting.

“Now the work begins,” Henry County Health Center Chief Financial Officer David Muhs said following the board’s approval.

According to the resolution, these “other actions” and additional work will include creating a County EMS System Advisory Council, “to assist in researching and assessing the service needs of the county and guiding implementation with respect to the potential imposition of a local options income surtax and/or ad valorem property tax for EMS in the county.”

While declaring EMS an essential county service means the county will foot the bill, it does not mean the entire cost will be passed onto taxpayers.

According to Muhs, the approximate cost of operating the EMS service currently is $2.4 million and the service is receiving about $2.2 million in revenue. Muhs states this revenue has been consistent percentagewise over the last five to 10 years.

Discussions with the Board of Supervisors revealed a cap on tax levy ability for EMS will be 75 cents per $1,000 valuation.

According to Moeller, it will be the responsibility of the County EMS System Advisory Council to “Bring it to the public to let them know that the 27 cents that the hospital now levies for ambulance services will be included in this 75-cent levy.”

Included in this 75 cents however, will be the 27 cents per $1,000 valuation already implemented in the Henry County Health Center’s general basic levy. These 27 cents will be rolled into the total 75 cents and taken out of the hospital’s levy.

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