In defense of a lawsuit filed by the City of Myrtle Beach, Horry County officials responded saying, “While the Defendant [Horry County] has worked to better the entire community, the City [Myrtle Beach] has apparently mismanaged its own budget, and now the City seeks to circumvent state law to shore up its own finances.” County officials say road tax monies are being confiscated by the city of Myrtle Beach to make up for the city’s own mismanagement of city finances.
The response was filed in the 15th circuit court on April 22nd.
Myrtle Beach Loves To Play The Victim
Horry County’s response goes on to state, “In its allegations, the City characterizes itself as a victim that will be the proper entity to protect the right of others. Instead, in its insatiable desire for more money, the City has decided to roll the dice so that it may raise fees and taxes within the municipal limits of the city.”
Other business leaders who operate inside the city limits of Myrtle Beach have made similar claims for years.
Strong Armed School Heist
While City Manager John Pedersen and his team continue to down-play the city’s financial issues, it is true that the city collected $20 million in Horry County school dollars set aside for a school at Market Common and then diverted those funds. It is also true that the city operates at its current debt ceiling and has limited opportunities to borrow because of that debt ceiling.
Horry County sued the city over the monies stolen from the appropriations of the Market Common school. The city has offered no plausible explanation for why it took the monies other than to state that a school was not needed in Market Common.
Had those funds been lifted from a bank, however, someone would be serving time. Apparently, a city government can legally steal monies from a county without any criminal repercussions.
The city then asked County Council Chairman Gardner to meet in secret about the funding. As can be seen in the video here, Gardner flatly refused.
City Gone Roque – County’s Sensible Response
In a tempered but measured response, the county says the city decided to file a lawsuit instead of working with Horry County Council through “normal correct political process to seek a resolution to best serve all citizens of the mutual communities.”
The ball is now clearly in Myrtle Beach’s court.
Questions remain as to whether the City of Myrtle Beach can be trusted to negotiate honestly.