News Local/State

Tax Increase Proposed For Champaign County Nursing Home


A tax hike to fund the county nursing home is part of a package of recommendations that the Champaign County Nursing Home will consider at its Thursday night meeting.

The Champaign County Nursing Home is partially funded by a county property tax set at 3 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The Nursing Home Board wants the Champaign County Board to put a referendum on the November ballot asking voters to approve an increase in the tax to a maximum of ten cents --- although the increase could be lower in actual practice.

Nursing Home Board Chair Catherine Emmanuel says the additional funding is needed in part because of the unreliability of state funding. But she says the tax increase would also help the nursing home handle rising costs as its building ages.

“It’s a relatively new facility”, said Emmanuel of the current nursing home, which opened in 2006, “but we haven’t been able to fund depreciation in the past. And so we would use this additional tax funding to replace equipment and facilities and expand programs as necessary.”

Ongoing financial difficulties at the county nursing home have led some critics to call on the Champaign County Board to sell the facility. But the nursing home board is recommending against any sale at this time.

Emmanuel says the county nursing home cares for more patients on Medicaid that any other facility in the area, and provides a variety of services unavailable at other nursing homes.

“And we were concerned that if we sold the Champaign County Nursing Home that it might not be sold to somebody who could continue to provide those services”, said Emmanuel.

A third recommendation from the Nursing Home Board calls for a close review of the home’s management services contract. Any resulting changes would be incorporated into a new contract, once the current one expires in mid-2017.

Missouri-based Management Performance Associates manages the Champaign County Nursing Home for the county. Emmanuel says they’ve done a good job ensuring the facility’s financial solvency. However, she says there are additional quality standards that the Nursing Home Board wants the facility to meet, and the next contract should reflect that.

The Champaign County Board meets at 6:30 PM, on Thursday evening, in the Shields Meeting Room of the Brookens Administration Center in Urbana