Post Tagged with: "property tax increase"

The Choice for North Myrtle Beach Voters

March 3, 2018 7:18 AM
The Choice for North Myrtle Beach Voters

Voters in North Myrtle Beach have a choice on Tuesday when they go to the polls to vote on whether or not to approve a Tourism Development Fee in the city.

Interestingly, the choice is not between voting the TDF up or down, although that will be decided. The real choice is how voters want to pay for infrastructure and other improvement needs in the city and who should be doing the paying.

From recent discussions at the North Myrtle Beach City Council budget retreat, it appears some type of revenue increase is in the offing for North Myrtle Beach residents.

According to information I have received, the North Myrtle Beach City Council discussed a property tax increase of 2-3 mills during their budget retreat earlier in the week.

A property tax increase would be paid only by the property owners in the city. The TDF would be paid by everybody, tourists included, who makes purchases in the city.

The TDF has the added advantage of providing revenue for targeted marketing of the North Myrtle Beach brand (cleaner, safer, family oriented) to tourists who are the lifeblood of the economy in the city.

I attended a meeting of the Tidewater HOA recently where the North Myrtle Beach City Manager made a presentation on the TDF.

Part of the presentation showed pictures demonstrating the need for more parking facilities in the city, an infrastructure improvement that increased revenue to the city will fund, according to statements by council. In addition, road improvements and continued staffing of public safety personnel were discussed as needs.

Another part of the presentation compared revenue increases available from the TDF versus the possibilities from something called the Municipal Tax Reform Act, which is only at best a vague hope to at worst a pipe dream in the minds of city council.

The Municipal Tax Reform Act is a bill that has been stuck in committee in the S.C. Senate for over a year and has no hope of passage in this legislative year or the near future. (You can see more on this in other articles I have written about the referendum.)

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Roads, Radios, Taxes and Horry County Council

November 18, 2015 6:00 AM
Roads, Radios, Taxes and Horry County Council

The next time we hear Horry County Council members talk about raising taxes, let’s move immediately for recall elections.

There is no provision for recall of elected officials in the state constitution. But, this is the Independent Republic the law doesn’t really apply here anyway.

Certainly very little fiscal responsibility does.

Last spring six members of Horry County Council were determined to raise property taxes by 7.2 mils, the largest increase allowed by law.

Why? Because the county was running out of money and all the county employees, especially public safety, needed pay raises. Or so county council told us at the time.

We were told the road maintenance tax had to be raised by 67% or roads in the county system couldn’t be maintained.

Remember all the talk about the county looking at removing roads from the county road system?

Five months down the road, all that is forgotten. Horry County Council got the tax increases it wanted and business as usual reigns again in Conway.

Tomorrow, the county Infrastructure and Regulation Committee will consider recommending seven resolutions to accept new roads and drainage into the County Maintenance System.

An early prediction is they will all pass.

Horry County Council is two-thirds of the way, with third reading passage of the ordinance guaranteed, to use approximately $16 million in excess revenue from Ride II tax collections for a new 900 MHz radio system for countywide communications.

The Ride II (Riding on a Penny) referendum was passed by the voters of the county to build roads. However, now that there is excess revenue from it Horry County Council quickly found a way to spend that excess in another area.

In 1993, when the current 800 MHZ system was first put in place, county and city officials were told it would have a lifespan of approximately 25 years. Motorola, the system provider, told county officials it would stop servicing the 800 MHz system at the end of next year.

Did Horry County Council establish some type of escrow fund so the money for a new system would be there when it was needed?

Of course not!

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