NMB Continues To Offer Most Preferred Area Beaches Among Tourists
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH PUTS TOURISTS’ NEEDS AND BRAND QUALITY FIRST
City of North Myrtle Beach Disapproves Of Tourist Tax
In a measured response, the city of North Myrtle Beach disapproves of tourist tax initiatives pushed by members of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce. City Council believes this effort should not take priority over other concerns that include ensuring maintaining the best brand in the market for the town’s visitors. As such, the city of North Myrtle Beach continues to be the most preferred destination town along the Grand Strand.
In a clear sign of what amounts to be the most responsible and most accountable local governments in Horry County, North Myrtle Beach City Council laid out a list of priorities that supersede any tax payer funded Chamber of Commerce marketing hand outs.
As some of our readers do get confused, the City of North Myrtle Beach is a city unto itself. It is not a part of the city of Myrtle Beach. Many tourists often get confused about which brand is which. The city of North Myrtle Beach features a greater percentage of newer resorts, a wide array of beach homes, and among the best oceanfront beach water quality ratings by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. [DHEC]
The city of Myrtle Beach has very few Oceanfront Beach Home rentals. Beach Water quality issues in the city of Myrtle Beach have been well documented by our news team.
A press release from North Myrtle Beach Public Information Officer, Patrick Dowling, reads as follows:
The North Myrtle Beach City Council met in a Workshop session July 29 at City Hall to determine its response to a May 2016 letter from the former chairman of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce urging City Council to act immediately to implement by a super-majority vote a one percent sales tax for use in out of area tourism marketing.
Following discussion among Council members and input from the public, City Council directed the City Manager to respond to the Chamber’s letter by saying that City Council will not vote by super-majority to implement the requested tax.
City Council members believe that it is important to first accomplish several necessary capital projects in the city before investing additional amounts of money in inviting more vacationers to the area. Among those capital projects are beach re-nourishment ($5 million estimated city share), construction of remaining Ocean Outfalls ($60 million estimate), and creating additional near-beach public parking ($16 million estimate).
Even though City Council decided to not adopt the tax proposed by the Chamber, Council members reiterated their appreciation for the Chamber’s work in helping to grow tourism in the city and its work in the community in general. City Council expressed its desire to continue to work with the Chamber in the future to find funding and other solutions for the community, and expressed its hope that Council’s decision on this one issue would not polarize the relationship between the two entities.
After the meeting, an article ran in our local area claiming a voter referendum was to occur in February. Mr. Dowling added: There is a rumor in the community suggesting that, during its August 1 meeting, City Council will call for a referendum on the Chamber’s proposed one percent sales tax for out of area tourism marketing. The issue is not on the August 1 Council Meeting agenda.
During the non-agenda part of the meeting, any City Council member could bring up the idea of a referendum and the other City Council members could choose to discuss the issue at that point. Council could even direct the City Manager to create a proposed ordinance calling for a referendum, but no action formally leading to a referendum could be taken at the August 1 Council Meeting. A referendum requires an ordinance, which requires two readings before City Council at two separate meetings.
As most tourists are now aware, the City of Myrtle Beach implemented an expensive tourist tax back in 2009. While these taxes have brought a 300% raise for the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean, the tax has largely worked only to upset tourists who visit that city. Dean now earns over $400,000 annually making him one of the highest paid people in the city of Myrtle Beach and the State of S.C.
The tax was also highly controversial in the way it was passed. See Link