Post Tagged with: "legislative delegation"

Mayors Add Confusion to Hospitality Tax/I-73 Funding Debate

May 21, 2019 7:09 AM
Mayors Add Confusion to Hospitality Tax/I-73 Funding Debate

After watching a video last evening of a news conference held in Conway yesterday by the mayors of the various incorporated municipalities in Horry County, under the auspices of the Horry County League of Cities, I was dumbfounded by the misinformation and political spin by those elected leaders to the public.

I do enjoy it when the mayors get together and issue statements under the League of Cities banner. The League of Cities is nothing more than a lunch club of the mayors and the chairman of Horry County Council if that official wishes to attend. It has neither official nor legal basis for doing anything, but it sounds good in the media.

The issue was hospitality tax collections in Horry County and who gets to keep the revenue beginning next fiscal year. The latest catalyst for this public discussion is a proposed bill dropped by the Horry County legislative delegation on the next to last day of this year’s legislative session.

Simply put, the bill, if it eventually passes, extends collections of a 1.5% hospitality tax countywide with the revenue going to Horry County Government. The cities and the county also collect an additional 1% hospitality tax within their respective jurisdictions for a total hospitality tax of 2.5% throughout the county. The tax has been on the books by county ordinance since late December 1996 with the proceeds of the countywide 1.5% portion being used to fund major road projects in the county under the collective banner of Ride I projects (SC 22, SC 31, US 501 improvements for example).

The initial duration of the tax was supposed to be 20 years with several additions through the years which extended payment on Ride I bonds through January 2019. Each of the municipalities in the county passed resolutions supporting the 1996 county ordinance.

In April/May 2017, Horry County Council, under the leadership of then chairman Mark Lazarus and administrator Chris Eldridge, unilaterally acted, with the rest of council going along, to remove the sunset provision of the hospitality tax ordinance that was to end the collection of the countywide 1.5% tax when Ride I bonds were paid off.

The idea of Lazarus and Eldridge was to use the approximately over $40 million annual revenue from the 1.5% portion to fund building of I-73 in Horry County.

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Accommodations Tax Money Doesn’t Solve Myrtle Beach Policing Problems

June 30, 2014 7:00 AM
Accommodations Tax Money Doesn’t Solve Myrtle Beach Policing Problems

Recent changes in state law have made as much as an additional $5 million in accommodations tax money available for law enforcement in the Myrtle Beach area for the month of May.

This money is specifically targeted at providing additional police officers from around the state, and possibly from out of state, to handle crowds during the Atlantic Beach Bikefest over Memorial Day weekend.

Obviously there was insufficient law enforcement in Myrtle Beach during this past Memorial Day weekend when crowds got out of control in the south end of the city.

But, more and better policing is needed in Myrtle Beach throughout the year.

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More Myrtle Beach Annexation Questions Arise

May 20, 2014 6:00 AM
More Myrtle Beach Annexation Questions Arise

The more one looks at the City of Myrtle Beach annexation petition, the more questions arise on the issues surrounding this proposed annexation.

A July 15, 2014 special election is scheduled in what the city is calling the “South Area” to vote on whether the area will be annexed into the city limits.

A 50% plus one positive vote of qualified electors within the petition area will annex the whole 640 acres or so into the city with only qualified resident electors of the area voting on the question.

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