Post Tagged with: "Harold Worley"

Proper Expenditure of Hospitality Tax Revenue

July 12, 2017 10:22 AM
Proper Expenditure of Hospitality Tax Revenue

A suggestion for the use of hospitality tax revenue was made at Tuesday night’s Horry County Council meeting that makes too much sense to ignore.

In a discussion of New Business, council member Paul Prince spoke about the poor conditions of many roads in the county as well as some need for advance planning in adding additional lanes to Hwy 90, Hwy 905 and roads extending off of those two.

Prince suggested meeting with the Horry County legislative delegation and governor Henry McMaster to find some funds to help with these roads.

Council member Harold Worley suggested spending the “two and one-half percent” on the roads. Worley’s reference was to the county’s hospitality tax.

Governments supposedly collect taxes in order to provide public goods and services. Think here roads, bridges, police, fire and mass education.

Hospitality tax is a little different in that state law requires hospitality tax revenue to be spent on tourism related expenses.

When hospitality tax was first approved by county voters in a county wide referendum, one percent of the total was designated to the government jurisdiction in which it is collected while one and one-half percent was designated to pay off bonds for Ride I projects.

The Ride I bonds are expected to be paid off on or before 2019. The one and one-half percent designated to those bonds brings in revenue of approximately $38 million per year to Horry County.

While it may take a little tweaking of state law to spend all of that revenue on the county road system, it is hard to argue that tourists do not use virtually all of the roads in that system. In addition the tax revenue could be spent on necessities such as public safety.

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Horry County Council Tax Explosion

June 17, 2015 7:00 AM
Horry County Council Tax Explosion

It is now official, the tax and spend Republicans on Horry County Council passed the largest tax increase in a generation last night.

Nothing changed from the budget that passed at second reading. There will be a countywide tax increase of 7.2 mils more for the general fund. The countywide road fee increased from $30 to $50 per vehicle and county building permit fees increased.

The Republican “Gang of Five” who voted to increase taxes consists of chairman Mark Lazarus, and council members Al Allen, Johnny Vaught, Bill Howard and Gary Loftus. Democrat James Frazier made the sixth vote in the 6-5 decision.

Of the six members who voted for it, five (all but Loftus) were elected to their current terms in November 2014, so it will be over three years before they have to face the voters for reelection. There is speculation Loftus may not be planning to run again so his term ending next year may not matter in having to answer for being a tax and spender.

Despite campaign pledges to “oppose new taxes”, “keep property taxes low”, “listen to the taxpayers” and support TEA Party goals, Lazarus, Vaught, Howard and Allen (respectively) make the term conservative Republican virtually extinct in Horry County and, in their particular cases, an oxymoron.

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Coast RTA Funding from Horry County Intact

May 13, 2014 4:40 PM
Coast RTA Funding from Horry County Intact

After Tuesday’s Horry County Council budget workshop, Coast RTA was still on track to receive $1.055 million in grant funding for next fiscal year from Horry County.

Council member Marion Foxworth presented a synopsis of the findings of the Select Committee on Coast RTA, which council chairman Mark Lazarus appointed and Foxworth chaired.

Foxworth said the Select Committee voted unanimously and was adamant in recommending to continue the county’s commitment to public transportation and the taxpayers who pay for the grant.

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Worley Supports Solid Waste Flow Control Gestapo

December 7, 2013 11:00 AM
Worley Supports Solid Waste Flow Control Gestapo

Attempting to head off an amendment to the Horry County solid waste flow control ordinance, council member Harold Worley said, “solid waste needs a Gestapo” in remarks to the county council Administration Committee Friday.

Worley, chairman of the admin committee and normally an advocate for citizens, has long been a strong supporter of the Horry County Solid Waste Authority, for reasons that remain a mystery.

Generally a master at directing debate on an issue, Worley resorted to hyperbole when his attempts to stall an amendment to the county flow control ordinance were flagging.

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Mark Lazarus Hits a Grand Slam

June 20, 2013 7:06 PM
Mark Lazarus Hits a Grand Slam

With just a few appearances as Horry County Council chairman under his belt, Mark Lazarus hit a grand slam home run at Tuesday night’s regular meeting of council.

After many years of despairing over poor to non-existent leadership on Horry County Council, Lazarus has quickly stepped into the void, in my opinion.

He runs a good meeting and the other 11 council members seem comfortable with him at the helm. That’s certainly not a statement that could have been made very often, if at all, over the last several decades.

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Why All the Secrecy

July 28, 2012 11:20 PM
Why All the Secrecy

Several days ago, we ran a story about how South Carolina ranks dead last among the 50 states for freedom of information access to government information. Thursday night, we learned that Horry County is attempting to rank at the bottom of the state’s 46 counties for public disclosure of information about its actions.

Horry County Council voted 7-2 Thursday night to pass first reading of an ordinance that would allow the issuance of $8 million of general obligation debt while refusing to publicly state what the money will be used for. Council members Harold Worley and Marion Foxworth voted no on the ordinance while members Brent Schulz, Paul Price and Paul Prince were not present at the meeting.

This vote took place during the second specially called council meeting in three days, both dedicated to executive sessions on a Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation initiative called “Project Blue.”

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Observations on the Bike Rally Vote

March 15, 2012 10:52 AM
Observations on the Bike Rally Vote

After the generally dysfunctional debate on bike rally vendor permits by Horry County Council Tuesday night, one veteran Horry County political observer commented to me that they believed the decision to again take on the bike rally issue, at the county level, was made in the “card room at the Dunes Club.”

I believe this comment is quite astute. It can be reasonably argued that the “Take Back May” movement, which resulted in the City of Myrtle Beach movement to end the May bike rallies was hatched at the Dunes Club. A small group of movers and shakers in the city saw the chance to take advantage of the public (above 38th Avenue North) unrest with the rallies, to advance personal agendas.

Tom Rice, then a private citizen, was the point spokesman for the “Take Back May” movement as the group lobbied both the Myrtle Beach and Horry County councils to essentially end the rallies. The effort was generally regarded successful at the city level, but a failure at the county level.

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Arrogance and Confusion, but a Victory for Bike Vendors

March 13, 2012 7:57 PM
Arrogance and Confusion, but a Victory for Bike Vendors

In what can only be called an arrogant abuse of parliamentary procedure, Horry County Council chairman Tom Rice called a five minute break, in the midst of debating an ordinance on the floor, because voting on amendments to the ordinance didn’t go his way.

This blatant lack of respect for the elected body he serves and abuse of power as chairman came during council’s regular meeting Tuesday night, but did not produce the result Rice hoped for.

The ordinance, of course, was about reducing the number of permit days for vendor and special event permits from the current seven days to five days. The ordinance, if passed as originally written, would have directly affected the Harley Davidson bike rally and the local small businesses that depend on it for revenue.

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Foxworth, Thompson Announce Candidacies

March 11, 2012 8:11 AM
Foxworth, Thompson Announce Candidacies

The local political scene is heating up with filing for state and local candidates opening at noon Friday.

Two incumbent Horry County politicians held campaign kick-off events recently to start the Spring primary election season.

Incumbent District Three Horry County Council member Marion Foxworth welcomed approximately 150 friends and supporters to an event at Victoria’s Country Cooking Saturday evening. The event was hosted by Robert Shelley and Victoria’s owner John Johnson.

Foxworth, a Democrat, had an interesting cross-party mix at his event including fellow Republican council members Harold Worley, Jody Prince and Carl Schwartzkopf and former council member Mark Lazarus.

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Bike Vendor Permit Cut Passes 1st Reading

March 1, 2012 7:44 AM
Bike Vendor Permit Cut Passes 1st Reading

Horry County Council voted 7-5 Tuesday night, on first reading of an ordinance, to reduce bike vendor and special event permits from the current seven days to five, including set up and take down operations. Council members Harold Worley, Al Allen, James Frazier, Jody Prince and Bob Grabowski voted nay.

This is the second reduction in three years for the number of days for which permits will be issued. Three years ago, council reduced the number of permit days from 10 to seven. The cost of the permits ($800) has remained the same while the number of days has been reduced, effectively raising the cost of doing business per day, for vendors, by 100 percent over the three year period.

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