Post Tagged with: "Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation"

MBREDC Smart Economic Planning or Insanity

August 2, 2015 5:00 AM
MBREDC Smart Economic Planning or Insanity

On July 7, 2015, the Horry County Council approved another 2-year $2.6 million contract with the MBREDC (Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation.)

This action is probably very confusing for anyone who has followed the progress of the MBREDC over the years.

Have Horry County taxpayers received a proper return on the $1.3 million given annually to the MBRDC during the past 5 years? Certainly any prudent investor would ask about an expected return on investment before committing funds to a corporation, whether a quasi-public/private or solely private one. There is only one measure of success when it comes to investing your (the taxpayers) money and that is the return on investment. In this case the return would be measured in number of residents who got jobs per tax dollars spent.

Unfortunately (for my peace of mind and confidence in our County Council) I did some basic math. The MBREDC receives $1.3 million annually from Horry County taxpayers. The former MBREDC President Brad Lofton had announced 1,500 jobs were created by the MBREDC in Horry County during his 3 years running the agency. Oops – but it appears that half of those jobs have not been filled. Let’s do some easy math; 750 jobs at $1.3M X 3 years of taxpayer money = $5,200 per job. Oops, forgot to subtract the money owed to the county by the current occupant of the Cool Springs Business Park (paid for by taxpayer $). PTR owes $73,000 in back rent as of June. Is it now logical to add $73,000 / 3 = $24,333 to the cost per job? Well probably not, but you get the drift.

Read more ›

Horry County Council Budget Resolutions

July 7, 2015 6:30 AM
Horry County Council Budget Resolutions

Horry County Council will consider two resolutions at its meeting tonight to complete this fiscal year’s budget process.

The resolutions will be to approve funding agreements with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation for two years and with Coast RTA for one year.

These votes will be the final acts of contempt toward county taxpayers in a budget year that brings the largest property tax increase in a generation.

Led by the Republican ‘Gang of Five’ (Mark Lazarus, Al Allen, Johnny Vaught, Gary Loftus and Bill Howard), Horry County Council chose to raise property taxes by 7.2 mils ($13.5 million) without even considering during budget considerations whether funding should be cut for the MBREDC and Coast RTA.

Of course, MBREDC and Coast RTA funding weren’t the only possible savings in a $130 million general fund budget that could have been looked at.

It was just easier for the Republican ‘Gang of Five’ to raise taxes than to go through the details of the budget.

Read more ›

Horry County Council Budget Failures

June 23, 2015 5:00 AM
Horry County Council Budget Failures

The latest development at MBREDC indicates how casually Horry County Council approached raising taxes this year.

Jim Moore, President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, resigned from that agency Monday.

Moore came to MBREDC only six months ago after the three plus year dismal reign of Brad Lofton. During the four year period represented by these two, MBREDC allegedly reorganized itself with a new approach to attracting jobs to Horry County.

Neither Moore nor Lofton was any more successful in economic development recruitment than the former iteration of MBREDC or Partners Economic Development Corporation before it.

The difference is the current four year MBREDC 2.0 has been receiving serious funding from Horry County Council, between $1.3 million to $1.8 million per year of taxpayer dollars, with little to nothing to show for it.

Think of AvCraft, Project Blue and PTR Industries as the poster children of MBREDC efforts.

Over the past five county budget cycles, MBREDC has received at least $7.5 million from Horry County Council to fund its few employees and other operational costs.

Read more ›

A Lesson from the AvCraft Experience

March 1, 2015 8:00 AM
A Lesson from the AvCraft Experience

The final curtain is coming down on AvCraft Technical Services in a couple of weeks leaving behind an important political lesson that will soon be forgotten.

That lesson? Never, never, never believe a politician’s (or their associates’) claims about economic development and/or job creation.

AvCraft was first introduced to Horry County in 2003 by, then, Horry County Council candidate Joe DeFeo.

AvCraft had just forfeited economic development incentive payments for failing to reach job creation promises at its location in Tyler, Texas and was looking for fresh government dollars. DeFeo was looking for an issue that could help him win election to Horry County Council District Three.

Read more ›

A Christmas Gift for AvCraft?

December 10, 2014 6:00 AM
A Christmas Gift for AvCraft?

It’s two weeks til Christmas and Horry County Council is in the gift giving mood to AvCraft again.

This is an act that plays in December almost as regularly as “A Christmas Story.”

And every time it plays it provides another lesson about everything that is wrong with the concept of giving incentives to companies in the name of economic development.

What it really boils down to is corporate welfare.

Read more ›

Horry County Budget Workshop Next Week

November 7, 2014 7:00 AM
Horry County Budget Workshop Next Week

Horry County Council will begin deliberations for its FY 2016 Horry County budget next Friday at a workshop and specially called council meeting.

Now that elections are over and several new council members are poised to join the governing body in the new year, we will see just how “conservative” our heavily Republican contingent on council really is.

My guess is the cronyism that has justified what I consider wasteful council spending in certain areas will continue to manifest itself.

Read more ›

Star Tek Problem Highlights Economic Development Shortcomings

October 3, 2014 1:00 PM
Star Tek Problem Highlights Economic Development Shortcomings

The situation at Star Tek does not appear to be exactly what came to light yesterday.

According to several sources with knowledge of Star Tek, the new local operation was not a startup. Instead, its roots lay in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

According to the information we have received:

Read more ›

Star Tek Loses Contract, Is Horry Job Creation Impacted?

October 2, 2014 5:47 PM
Star Tek Loses Contract, Is Horry Job Creation Impacted?

Another of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation’s supposed star job catches appears to be experiencing difficulties, according to sources familiar with recent developments at Star Tek.

A customer service call center, Star Tek was expected to create approximately 665 new jobs in Horry County over a three year period.

However, according to several sources familiar with recent developments, current Star Tek employees received an email last evening saying Star Tek had lost its contract with Direct TV and all current employees were to report to Human Relations today for interviews.

Read more ›

No Tax Referendums for Horry County

August 12, 2014 7:22 AM
No Tax Referendums for Horry County

Horry County voters will have no advisory referendums on the November 2014 general election ballot asking for additional taxes to be levied on county residents.

Last week it looked as if Horry County voters would get to register their advice on whether to raise millage to help fund the Waccamaw Center for Mental Health services.

The Waccamaw Center for Mental Health is a state designated agency that is underfunded by the General Assembly.

Read more ›

Time for Horry County Council to Review EDC Funding

July 24, 2014 7:35 AM
Time for Horry County Council to Review EDC Funding

Before the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation gets too involved in a search for a new CEO, Horry County Council should take a hard look at its funding of the agency.

Despite new names, reorganizations of the agency and increased funding from county council, there have been relatively few actual new jobs created over the last 20 years.

The Horry County Administration Committee is expected to receive its quarterly jobs update from the county’s grant administration department at its August 1, 2014 meeting. This will be a tally, by company, of the number of new jobs created, not announced or promised, but actual people drawing paychecks since departing EDC CEO Brad Lofton was first hired in April 2011.

Read more ›