Post Tagged with: "tourism development fee"

Incumbents Want Status Quo in Myrtle Beach

October 28, 2017 4:26 AM
Incumbents Want Status Quo in Myrtle Beach

What I took away from the debate on Thursday night between three of the candidates for mayor and the debate among nine candidates for city council a week earlier is a vote for the incumbents in the upcoming Myrtle Beach city elections is a vote for the status quo in the city.

If the incumbents are re-elected, nothing will change including the secrecy and disinformation that surrounds so much of what passes for planning in the city.

Listening to Mayor John Rhodes during the debate and over several days prior to it, the city had its best year ever this year, everything is great in the city and the shootings on Ocean Boulevard this year were “fake news.”

As we know from the mindless tweets of President Donald Trump, fake news is a term used to attempt to discredit any news a politician doesn’t want to hear.

Rhodes definitely doesn’t want to hear news of crime and safety concerns in Myrtle Beach. Rather than attempt to solve those, his attitude seems to be blame the messenger.

One thing that definitely will not change is the Tourism Development Fee charged on virtually every sale in the city. Rhodes voiced strong support of the TDF, taking credit for creating the idea.

What Rhodes did not divulge is how those who benefit from the TDF work to keep the incumbents in place.

The Tourism Development Fee is a one percent tax (one cent on every dollar spent) on basically everything that is purchased in Myrtle Beach. It is paid by everybody who buys anything in the city.

The tourism industry essentially gets its advertising costs paid for it from these tax dollars.

This is roughly the same as if the federal government charged a one percent sales tax on every item purchased in the United States to pay for the advertising of Ford, General Motors, Microsoft and General Electric.

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Myrtle Beach City Council Hears Frustrations and Possible Solutions to Recent Violence

June 21, 2017 8:55 AM
Myrtle Beach City Council Hears Frustrations and Possible Solutions to Recent Violence

Myrtle Beach City Council hosted a raucous special meeting Tuesday with home and business owners voicing their outrage at recent shooting incidents on Ocean Boulevard and in other parts of the city.

It was a good move by city council, allowing the meeting to act as a pressure valve relieving some of the pent up frustration felt by citizens by having it voiced directly to council and city staff in a public forum.

That frustration ran from blaming city officials for ignoring the city’s problems and threatening defeat of the four incumbent council members up for reelection in November to calling for martial law to be declared in the city.

Many of the comments were rough and pointed, one citizen even asking John Rhodes if he would immediately resign as mayor. However, council took the criticism stoically because solutions are more important at this point than verbal jousting contests.

While many of the comments fell short of suggesting solutions for the violence problems in the city, several were on point.

Several citizens suggested using money from the one cent local option ‘tourism development fee’ (ad tax) to fund more police officers.

Former Mayor Mark McBride was most forceful in this line of thinking noting that the city’s police force had not expanded since he left office at the end of 2005.

To be fair, the city has installed over 800 cameras that are constantly monitored to help with public safety response and were very helpful during this past weekend’s incidents.

McBride called for 50 percent, approximately $10 million, to be redirected from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s out of area advertising to funding additional police officers as well as providing raises for current officers.

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Talking Politics on the Grand Strand

June 2, 2017 6:19 AM
Talking Politics on the Grand Strand

Talking Politics, a new political talk show, was introduced on the Grand Strand this week.

Co-hosted by Paul Gable and John Bonsignor and produced by CarolinaPolitics.org, the show will travel to locations around the Grand Strand to speak with political leaders and others involved in the most important and high profile issues of the day.

Click on the arrow below to view a discussion with Myrtle Beach City Council member Randal Wallace about issues such as eminent domain use by the city, the current discussions between city government and the oceanfront merchants and the Tourism Development Fee, otherwise known as the one-cent local option sales tax for tourism marketing.

Click on read full story to view the video.

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Budget Time for Local Governments

March 21, 2017 1:02 PM
Budget Time for Local Governments

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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Hypocritical Attack Ads Target Reese Boyd

June 12, 2016 6:30 PM
Hypocritical Attack Ads Target Reese Boyd

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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Tourism Development Fee Tales

February 9, 2013 12:00 PM
Tourism Development Fee Tales

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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