The tourism lobby packed the Ted C. Collins municipal building and showed strong support for city council as they voted in the first reading of a local option tax called the TDF.
National “not for profit” records indicate the tourism lobby is the lowest wage paying and among the highest tax subsidized industries in America. 80% of the local option tax will go directly to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Horry County is among the lowest wage paid counties in America. The tourism lobby is the number one employer. Dean told the Puerto Rican press that over $54 million in tax subsidies go to the lobby every year.
Former Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce C.E.O., Brad Dean told the council that no one cares about the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s web analytics. While those analytics do inform locals on:
- How much the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber pays for each lead it gets (as opposed to a national average)
- What hotels in what cities the visitors were most interested in
- What profile types of clients and from what cities the bulk of these visitors come from.
- What socio-economic data profile can be built on neighborhoods from those cities.
Mr. Dean said results matter most, not raw and uncensored data. The city of Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber are currently fighting a FOIA by MyrtleBeachSC.com asking to see that raw data.
Local residents, who have asked for a public referendum, did address council. Mayor Bethune responded that the last election was a public referendum.
One local resident Joe McVay, was not allowed to speak as he does not live in the city. Resident Ann Dunham asked,”Is the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber going to hand out checks like they did in 2009?”
In 2009, most of city council, the then Mayor, and most among the local S.C. State delegation were each handed $24,000 in sequentially numbered cashiers checks by Brad Dean personally according to reports published in the Sun News at the time.
The TDF local option tax will have one more reading on Tuesday, April 10th. The local option tax will then become an extended law that will expire in the year 2029.
Local Property Management Magnates, Matthew Brittain and Chris Schroff Discuss TDF at Council Meeting