This week will see several local governments, particularly Myrtle Beach and Horry County, in budget workshops as next year’s revenue and spending is considered.
If you have never seen the local budget process in action, you should consider at least watching some of the workshop meetings on local cable television or live streaming on the internet.
After all, it’s your money they are spending and services for you they are supposed to be providing.
Much of the discussion will be on the agencies’ respective general funds. Those are the funds that pay for public safety, public works, administration and so forth.
For each agency, approximately 65% of general fund expenditures are for personnel pay and benefits.
However, the respective general funds are not the only budget areas that affect local citizens.
The Horry County Solid Waste Authority, which is a component unit of Horry County Government, is asking for a $7 per ton increase on the cost of dumping municipal solid waste (household garbage) at the Highway 90 landfill.
If county council approves a rise in the SWA MSW tipping fee, every household and business in the county will be paying more for garbage disposal.
The City of Myrtle Beach parking fees, which go to the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation and are currently helping fund the taking of businesses through the use of eminent domain, are a problem for all county residents.
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Reese Boyd is making a strong run for the open SC Senate District 34, enough that the Stephen Goldfinch campaign and its cohorts are resorting to absolute hypocrisy in these final days of the campaign.
Reese Boyd and Stephen Goldfinch are both seeking the Republican nomination for SC Senate District 34 in Tuesday’s Republican Primary voting.
If you are following politics at all in this primary season, you have seen, either in your mailbox or on Facebook, Reese Boyd being called a fiscal liberal.
These attacks are coming in mail and on broadcast media from something called the Citizens Alliance for Fiscal Responsibility, which, from everything I can determine, is run by Tom Swatzel of Swatzel Strategies LLC.
Swatzel Strategies has also received payment from the Stephen Goldfinch campaign for campaign consulting. There is an obvious direct tie between the PAC and the Goldfinch campaign.
If Citizens Alliance for Fiscal Responsibility is acting as an independent PAC, even under the Citizens United decision it must have no direct coordination with the campaign.
Why is Boyd being attacked as a fiscal liberal? Because Boyd has refused to sign Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
I support Boyd in not signing Norquist’s bogus pledge, which has never been anything more than a gimmick for elected legislators to claim they are fiscal conservatives.
But, the hypocrisy currently being practiced by the Goldfinch campaign is much worse than just mislabeling Boyd because he wouldn’t agree to forfeit his decision making power if he is elected to the senate.
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The Tourism Development Fee, otherwise known as the reverse Robin Hood tourism ad sales tax, is again in the news as Myrtle Beach city and Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce officials continue to attempt to justify it.
They speak of capital improvement projects and reduced property tax for owner occupied homes in the city as well as possibilities of extending the tourism base for local business.
What we don’t hear about is how the motel and restaurant owners were able to decrease their advertising budgets in excess of 90 percent, allowing them to put more money in their pockets, while the maids, waitresses and bus boys they pay minimum wage to pay more tax.
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