|Ocala, FL -
October 20, 2012|
Published in the Ocala Star-Banner Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 10:16 p.m.
The proposed property tax to support Munroe Regional Medical Center has attracted a full-scale opponent.
On Saturday, a Tallahassee-based group called Save Our Constitution Now was running radio ads and making robo calls advocating against the tax. The group encouraged people to “vote against waste.”
The tax question is one of the hottest local races on the Nov. 6 ballot. Early voting starts Saturday.
Voters are asked to consider a 1-mill property tax to support Munroe, which is owned by the state-sanctioned Marion County Hospital District.
The district currently leases the hospital to Munroe Regional Health System, Inc., but is considering its options, including leasing to a private outside company.
Save Our Constitution Now, chaired by Tom C. Feeney, registered with state election officials earlier this month. Its first campaign treasurer’s report was due Friday but was not listed on the state elections website Saturday.
As a result, it’s not yet clear who is bankrolling the effort and how much money has been spent.
The committee’s Tallahassee telephone number rings at Associated Industries of Florida, a powerful business group.
Its local number allows callers to leave a message.
Meanwhile, the pro-tax forces have been active for several months.
Just last week, voters received glossy fliers in the mail from Ocala-based Protect Hometown Healthcare urging them to “Keep Munroe Hospital Local.”
Protect Hometown Healthcare has raised more than $200,000 since summer and as of Oct. 12 had spent almost $100,000, according to state elections records.