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Myrtle Beach property taxes set to rise under proposed $292 million budget

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) — With the fiscal year set to begin July 1, the Myrtle Beach City Council is passing a budget approaching $300 million.

This budget would cover more downtown development and add more public security stations to keep people safe, but would also cost taxpayers a bit more.

“I don’t think the city council welcomes the idea of ​​a property tax increase, but to accomplish everything we needed to do this year, they needed to raise property taxes,” the doorman said. -speaker of Myrtle Beach, Mark Kruea. “Frankly, to get everything in this $292 million budget with just a ten million increase in property taxes, it’s unbelievable that they’ve managed to do it.”

A graph shows the impact that an increase in mileage will have on property taxes.(City of Myrtle Beach)

According to a chart produced by city staff, a ten million increase will likely mean about $100 more per year for someone who owns a $250,000 home.

It would mean even more for businesses.

For commercial space valued at around $1 million, that would be a $600 increase in property taxes.

City staff report that a $250,000 homeowner paid just $189 in property taxes last year.

So $100 would be more than a 50% increase.

But, city staff show that Myrtle Beach’s mileage rate is still quite low compared to nearby towns.

A bar chart shows where Myrtle Beach will fall relative to other cities if a project...
A bar chart shows where Myrtle Beach will fall relative to other cities if a proposed mileage increase is passed.(City of Myrtle Beach)

That’s less than Spartanburg and Columbia, but the increase would put it ahead of Greenville and Charleston.

All that extra money will help cover a proposed budget of nearly $300 million.

$64 million that is spent on capital improvement projects.

“A big part of that is water and sewer lines, we’re upgrading the system,” Kruea said. “A portion will go to the Quartier des arts et de l’innovation to continue the work we have done there. The performing arts theater is also part of this list of projects. It’s really the brick and mortar we’re doing to make this city accessible and provide resources for people.

$16 million is dedicated to the arts and innovation district.

Much of that money will be used to reopen an old theater on North 8th Avenue, which closed decades ago.

The 300-seat theater project was presented to the city council in October 2020, and the facade fell in December 2020 with a tentative completion date of 2022 or 23, but it’s been on a bit of a standstill since then.

Finally, there is money invested with this new budget, with the eventual hope that Coastal Carolina University will fill it with its theatrical productions.

The budget also pays for 47 new positions in the city, 83% of which are dedicated to public safety.

The majority of positions will be directed to the police department – 25 new officers will join the force next year.

They’ll have plenty of new gear to go with it – the council has also agreed to help pay for 76 new body armor.

Ocean Rescue will also grow, three new lieutenants will join this team to run another truck on the beach.

A cybersecurity analyst, beautification team, and code enforcement officers are also paid.

A new team will also join the city – the budget covers three members of opioid awareness.

“We have a drug problem,” Kruea said. “Not just in Myrtle Beach, but nationwide. A lot of that has to do with the opioid problem that exists. People are addicted to these kinds of drugs. The three opioid posts will provide some relief, some drug prevention activities.

Just months ago, South Carolina and major opioid manufacturers reached a settlement regarding the growing number of overdoses.

These new positions will be paid for by the money the city received from this lawsuit.

The city council passed a first reading of the draft budget on Tuesday, with a final reading due in two weeks.

If passed, it will come into force on July 1.

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