Special to SEGAZINE
The recent disclosure that Charlton Memorial Hospital failed to pay over $600,000 in payroll taxes has led to more scrutiny on the medical facility’s other finances — including over $2.6 million in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds.
Charlton County voters approved a SPLOST referendum in 1992 to raise not more than $2 million to be used for renovation and improvements to Charlton Memorial Hospital “to include doctors’ offices; and for new equipment for the hospital; and for the construction and equipment for a medical clinic in the St. George area of Charlton County”.
In 2003, another referendum gave Charlton Memorial $361,800 for “betterment and improvement of equipment and facilities…to include possible purchase of supplies and equipment”.
In 2008, a third referendum was passed giving the hospital $150,000 for the purchase of an ambulance, and another $150,000 for the purchase of “major equipment” for the hospital.By law, maintenance and operations expense cannot be paid through SPLOST funding and there can be no deviating from the specific lists of projects included in the referendum.
According to Charlton County records, the designated amounts from all three SPLOST collections were paid to the hospital by the county.