The Bellevue City Council Monday unanimously approved a resolution supporting the withdrawal of property owners in approximately 2,880 homes in southwest Bellevue from a public hospital district few of them use.

Currently, residents in the Newport Hills area must pay taxes to King County Public Hospital District No. 1, formed in 1948, though many of them don’t use the district’s hospital, Valley Medical Center in Renton, which is 7.5 miles away. Instead, they often travel to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, five miles to the north, which is not part of the hospital district.

Council members agreed the issue is one of fairness, since the total property tax paid to the hospital district by Bellevue property owners in 2011 will be approximately $645,000, though emergency medical services are largely provided by Overlake Hospital. The residents are the only ones in Bellevue who are part of a hospital distrct.

It’s the second time the council has pushed to allow the residents to withdraw from the hospital district. In 2006, after the district’s property tax levy rate jumped by 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, the city also asked the district board to remove the Bellevue area from the hospital district.

The hospital district board has recently proposed an alliance with the University of Washington Medical Center, and the council wants officials to reconsider the withdrawal issue now too.

 

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