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I-73: The $25 Million Tax Payer Funded Political Enrichment Resolution

Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus’ term expires December 31, 2018.  Tomorrow, Horry County Council will meet to obligate $25 million annually in Hospitality Fee monies to the SCDOT for the building of I-73.   The resolution effectively ties up the monies so that incoming Chairman Johnny Gardner is sure to have his hands full should he attempt to unravel the deal in January.

Today, sources in Columbia informed MyrtleBeachSC news that SC Legislative leaders will then hold a press conference within days after tomorrow’s vote touting the gift by Horry County for building I-73. These leaders will encourage the State to step up and do its part in matching the county gift.   The resolution below does not obligate the SCDOT, nor the State of S.C. to provide any funding for the building of the infrastructure of I-73.

The politicians desperately want to funnel that money to Corrupt Hugh Leatherman’s slush fund (the State Infrastructure Bank) through SCDOT,” said Dave Schwartz of the grassroots, anti-corruption group Freedom Action Network of South Carolina.  “At the SIB, they can turn millions of our tax dollars into billions by issuing debt that we’ll have to pay back with interest.  All of this money laundering for a pet project that will enrich a handful of scumbag lobbyists and loser politicians, but won’t solve traffic problems.

Independent policy experts back up Schwartz’s claim.  The South Carolina Policy Council wrote about this potential money funneling scheme during the gas tax hike debate last year.  The new law would enable SCDOT to funnel money away from maintenance and bridge repair and toward building new projects like I-73 at the State Infrastructure Bank.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is scheduled to make a speech touting the need for the road at tomorrow’s workshop just before County Council votes.

International Drive

As our area has witnessed with the completion of  International Drive, (once taxpayers are on the hook for the road),  groups like Waccamaw Land and Timber represented by firms, like Mike Wooten’s DDC Engineers, will then begin new home developments along the Interstate heading West from Highway 90 to the Horry County/Marion County line.  The pitch to new home buyers will be the quick drive to the beach.

Mark Lazarus is a real estate agent with Waccamaw Land and Timber.

County residents tell MyrtleBeachSC news the funds should be set aside for existing growth issues along the coast with over development.  The 6 cent per gallon gas tax  passed state-wide last year was never intended to be set aside for interstates.  The legislature promised to use those funds to repair existing roads across the state.  Less than 7 percent of the hundreds of millions collected to date have been spent.  The money currently sits in a bank account.

The SC Freedom Action Network encourages all local residents to let their voices be heard on this issue.  To email your representative – CLICK HERE 

The full resolution being voted on tomorrow can be read below.

 

 

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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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