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Downtown Redevelopment – Merchants Expect New Tax Announced

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Former Myrtle Beach Pavilion

Most small business owners we spoke with are concerned that the city will use the leverage of oceanfront hotels (property managers) to force the tax upon them.

Myrtle Beach Downtown
Myrtle Beach Downtown

 

Reports are that a tax increase for landowners will be announced at a meeting called by the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation this week.

All merchants who own either land or a business in the Downtown Redevelopment district have been asked to attend. The district runs from the Family Kingdom on 3rd Avenue South traveling north to the land where the Myrtle Beach Sky Wheel now stands and west to the stores located on Broadway Street.  This area encompasses Myrtle Beach’s most prime real estate locations,  however,  as we have previously reported, tourists and local residents consider this area to be in the need of most repair in the city.

Many small merchants we spoke with told us they did not support a special tax increase that would apply to owners in this business zone only.

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However,  a few select owners that include one large land owner and a few large property management companies (who operate like Oceanfront Hotels) are strongly in favor of the tax.

Hotel in the DRC District
Hotel in the DRC District

Most small business owners we spoke with are concerned that the city will use the leverage of oceanfront hotels (property managers) to force the tax upon them.

How can the city do this?   At meetings with small business owners in the past,  implied support by the hotel community for any issue was effective in also gaining support from this very same small business owner group.   The fear among the small business community was that if they did not also support any measure encouraged by the hotel community,  the hotel community would then blacklist their business from all tourists staying in those hotels.

This approach for getting small business support has been highly effective in the past.

Myrtle Beach SC has repeatedly covered the plans of Myrtle Beach, working with several large corporations, in reshaping the downtown area.

At present,  downtown merchants feel crime issues in the area coupled with parking issues make it hard for them to compete with shops at Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing.

Merchants are aware the area needs a make over,  however,  many landowners in the area have been waiting on local giant  Burroughs and Chapin to develop the land where the old Myrtle Beach pavilion once stood before they begin investments in their own land or existing businesses.

“It would be good to know what the blue print was,  before we invest,” said one local merchant who asked us not to print his name.

As any tourist knows,  parking is free at the venues of Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing (owned by Burroughs and Chapin),  however meters run the entire downtown DRC region.   Most small merchants believe the meters are a tourist tax in themselves that keeps many tourists from shopping and dining at their stores.

Monies collected from the meters go directly to the DRC.

Former Myrtle Beach Pavilion
Former Myrtle Beach Pavilion

The DRC has said that the meeting called this Wednesday is a chance for small businesses to have their voices heard.

It is believed that this tax will give a few oceanfront property managers (hotel owners) and Burroughs and Chapin greater control over how the area is developed.

Myrtle Beach SC will keep our readers posted on this developing and critical story.

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