Georgians Can Decide How Their Tax Dollars Are Spent
In less time than it takes to read this article, Georgians can decide how their 2022 state tax dollars will be used and earn a 100% tax credit for doing so. Unique to the state, the Georgia HEART (Helping Enhance Access to Rural Treatment) hospital tax credit program allows taxpayers to redirect their 2022 state income taxes to an eligible hospital of their choice, whether in their county or a different county.
Enacted by the Georgia General Assembly, the Georgia HEART hospital tax credit program helps rural hospitals struggling to stay open. The program is especially beneficial now given the challenges hospitals have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Southeast Georgia Health System’s Camden Campus is one of 55 rural hospitals that qualify for this innovative program. HEART tax dollars dedicated to the Camden Campus can be used to add new services, purchase technology, recruit physicians and offer community health screenings. But hospitals aren’t the only entities that benefit; the program provides a 100% state income tax credit to Georgia taxpayers and C-Corporations that participate in the program.
In 2019, the Health System used its HEART funds to add 3D Mammography to the Camden Campus radiology department. In 2020, HEART funds helped to build a new Wound Care Center and, in 2021, ROSA robotic knee surgery technology was added to the Camden Campus.
“If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s the importance of having access to health care close to home,” says Scott Raynes, president and CEO, Southeast Georgia Health System. “Rural hospitals like the Camden Campus fill a vital need in the community. The Georgia HEART tax credit program helps to improve access to medical care and the quality of that care. It’s an easy way to feel better about paying taxes, knowing that your tax dollars helped to improve health care in your own community. It truly is a win-win for everyone.”
Available Georgia HEART tax credits are capped at $60 million per year. Each qualified rural hospital has access to a maximum of $4 million of tax credits, until the total annual $60 million cap is met. In 2021, that cap was reached by September and many taxpayer applications were denied. As a result, Southeast Georgia Health System leaders encourage those interested in participating in the program to do so as soon as possible. The application process is easy and takes less than five minutes. For more information, or to complete an application, visit sghs.org/ga-tax-credit or georgiaheart.org.
About Southeast Georgia Health System
Southeast Georgia Health System is a not-for-profit health system comprised of two acute care hospitals, two long term care facilities, two comprehensive Cancer Care Centers and multiple specialty care centers, including orthopaedic and spine care, joint replacement, breast care, maternity, outpatient rehabilitation, sleep management and wound care. The Brunswick Campus Cancer Care Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and offers the only CyberKnife® M6 with MLC technology in Georgia. Additionally, the Southeast Georgia Physician Associates medical group includes more than 160 providers working in 20 different medical specialties at more than 50 locations. The Health System is part of Coastal Community Health, a regional affiliation between Baptist Health and Southeast Georgia Health System forming a highly integrated hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. For more information, visit sghs.org.