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Myrtle Beach investor

City’s largest investor viewed as “suckers” and “prey”

Collectively 18,000 oceanfront condo owners have invested from $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion in the city of Myrtle Beach. No other investor in the state comes close.

What infuriates these investors is a tax credit 75% rebate given to primary residents because of rental owner investment in the town. The 2020 tax increase will add $30 to $90 in new taxes to each of these investors. Primary residents will get a 75% tax credit (paid by the tourists who stay in these condos). Primary residents will only see from an $8 to $11 tax increase on average.

Downtown merchant claims: “The City of Myrtle Beach – where money goes to die

Chris Thomas and his wife believed they found the perfect investment in purchasing an Oceanfront rental condo in Myrtle Beach, S.C. After renting it for decades, they hoped to retire and live in the property one day.

The couple from Gettysburg, PA now find themselves defendants in a lawsuit by their own HOA and property management rental company.

A 15th circuit S.C. judge ruled as follows against the “out of state” couple and other “out of state” homeowner condo rental defendants. “Defendants’ counsel shall be able to look at the “walls” of each of the Plaintiffs’ Facebook accounts, shall be able to open Facebook messenger to review the to, from, and date data from each Facebook message and to open any messages between the parties.”

The motion was granted on behalf of their property rental manager who was upset about what Thomas and his wife posted on Facebook.

The couple merely complained about the treatment they received from the rental manager and the preferred treatment the rental manager received from local governments, state government, and the rental manager’s hand picked H.O.A.

Property managers are often called the “Hotel owner” by news outlets when covering articles on hotels like Brittain Resort Hotels. Nothing could be further from the truth. Matthew Brittain and his family own meeting space, the front desk and common areas at their collective properties. Brittain has invested little in hotels, like the Breakers Resort, in proportion to what baby boomer couples all over America have invested.

Myrtle Beach Skywheel
Myrtle Beach Skywheel is touted as a huge investment in the city of Myrtle Beach. Compared to condo owner investors, it’s a pittance.

Collectively 18,000 oceanfront condo owners have invested from $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion in the city of Myrtle Beach. No other investor in the state comes close.

BACK TO BACK 3 MIL TAX INCREASES

And yet, the back to back 3 mil tax increases now being passed by Myrtle Beach City Council will fall largely on this group of investors’ shoulders.

Why? These investors guests are charged a 1% tax when tourists stay in their condos. This TDF tax brings in $24 million annually. Those funds are used to pay city of Myrtle Beach upkeep and expenses. Eighty percent of that tax goes to an advertising budget for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

These condo owners have also been charged a $250 business license, even though none of them own a business in the city. That fee alone brought in $4.5 million to the City of Myrtle Beach last year. The bad news for rental owners is this business license fee will go up again with this new tax hike.

What recourse do these 18,000 condo owners have? They can’t vote and they tell us the property rental managers and city leaders colluded in lock step.

WORST OF ALL – THE REAL ESTATE CREDIT INSULT

Some would think these investors would be most upset because their properties are charged at a 6% rate versus primary homeowners in the city, whose property is charged at a 4% rate. They are not.

What infuriates these condo owners is a tax credit 75% rebate given to primary residents because of rental owner investment in the town. The 2020 tax increase will add $30 to $90 in new taxes to each of these investors. Primary residents will get a 75% tax credit (paid by the tourists who stay in these condos). Primary residents will only see from an $8 to $11 tax increase on average.

NEW TAXES COMING

Back to back future tax increases have been promised by the city. When will condo owner investors say enough? Most say they already have. Few oceanfront highrises that are individually condo owned are now being built in the city of Myrtle Beach.

Other merchant investors are getting out of the city as well. Downtown merchants informed MyrtleBeachSC.com that the first week of June 2019 was the slowest start in the history of Myrtle Beach.

One key investor currently in a lawsuit with the city stated, “The City of Myrtle Beach…. where money goes to die.”

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About David Hucks

Born in 1961, David is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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