St. Charles Parish voters on Saturday voted by a wide margin to renew an annual $2.9 million property tax that largely supports emergency services at the publicly owned St. Charles Parish Hospital.

By a vote of 4,381 to 1,996, an existing 2.48-mill tax will be extended for a decade, beginning in 2016. Revenue from the property tax represents about 7 percent of the hospital’s expenditures, its CEO, Federico Martinez Jr., has said.

Martinez said the money would be used, in part, to add a third ambulance during peak hours, expand the 59-bed hospital’s emergency room, staff a new cardiology unit and pay for advanced cardiac-life-support training for the medical staff.

St. Charles Parish Hospital recently broke ground on a $15.5 million building in Destrehan that is slated to be completed by May 2015. It will house additional specialty physicians and urgent care facilities, as well as offices, an optometry center and a pharmacy, Martinez said.

The hospital’s millage was first approved by voters about three decades ago and has been renewed several times, although the length of each renewal and the amount collected has changed over the years.

Extending the millage will cost the owner of a $200,000 house with a homestead exemption about $30 annually, while the owner of a $300,000 house will pay around $55.

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