It’s no secret Georgia’s rural hospitals have been facing financial crisis. 

To help support the growing financial needs of Georgia’s rural and critical access hospitals like Archbold Memorial Hospital and Archbold’s Brooks County Hospital (BCH) in Quitman, Grady General Hospital in Cairo (GGH), and Mitchell County Hospital (MCH) in Camilla, Georgia legislators introduced The Rural Hospital Tax Credit bill (State Bill 258).

The bill, which passed in 2016, offers a rare state tax credit to Georgia taxpayers and C-Corporations that donate funds through the Georgia HEART Hospital Program to 52 rural hospitals the Georgia Department of Community Health has determined to have financial need.

Donors who participated in the tax credit program received a 100 percent tax credit on their contributions to the hospital of their choice, thanks to new legislation passed in early 2018.  

Signed by Governor Nathan Deal, the law allows for $60 million in available tax credits in the tax years 2018-2021. The 2018 tax credit limit was met in June, and pledges were due by September 1. 

For the 2018 tax year, 320 donors from all over the state gave over $4 million to the Archbold health system. 

“The funds received by the Archbold system through the Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit program will help us offset costs we’ve absorbed by treating all patients regardless of their ability to pay,” said Greg Hembree, chief financial officer at Archbold Memorial Hospital. “The generous contributions to the program are helping us to continue to provide the best care options to patients.”

“The tax credit program is not only beneficial to our hospitals in helping them to continue providing quality, patient-centered care, but it allows the donor to choose where their tax dollars are directed,” said Vann Middleton, president of the Archbold Foundation. “Keeping the tax dollars in our local communities can make a significant impact on the healthcare that is offered locally. We appreciate every individual and corporation that donated to Archbold through this program. Each tax credit gift is helping us fulfill our Archbold mission of providing high quality, cost-effective healthcare to patients throughout the region.”

“It’s really a win-win for the hospital and the taxpayer. The hospital receives the benefit of their generous support, and the taxpayer receives 100% of the amount contributed back in a tax credit when they file their taxes in 2019.”

Middleton said he anticipates the tax credit program will be extremely popular again next year.

“We’re urging tax payers who are interested in participating to sign up early,” he said.  

Georgia HEART, the third party administrator helping Archbold with the program will begin accepting 2019 tax credit applications on its website beginning on October 1 of this year. For those interested in taking advantage of the credit – please visit their website:www.georgiaheart.org. All four hospitals in the Archbold system once again qualify for support next year.

Each qualified hospital is eligible to receive up to $4 million in credits each year. The following limits apply with respect to contributions made to qualifying hospitals: Individual taxpayers can take a maximum credit of up to $5,000 per year, while those filing jointly are limited to $10,000 a year. C-corporations can make a huge impact by claiming up to 75 percent of their entire Georgia income tax liability.

“We received some very generous gifts from several local C-Corporations this year” Middleton remarked. “They have really thrown their support behind this initiative and the Archbold System is grateful for their confidence in our mission and their investment in our future.” 

For more information about the program, visit www.archbold.org/GeorgiaHeart