Local merchants, including those at the downtown Walmart, told us business slower than normal first week of Summer 2016.
Tourism lobby nervous about Summer 2016 numbers.
On Friday, Mayor John Rhodes spoke publicly about a new $300 million tourist tax city council is scheduled to pass this month by 2/3rds majority vote.
The bill’s sponsor, District 33 Senator Luke Rankin, has been quiet about the legislation. A referendum option on the bill, which would have allowed voters to decide on the tax, has been rejected by local leaders.
Mayor John Rhodes told the Sun News Newspaper that putting the question to the voters would be taking “a gamble.” “If we put it up for a referendum vote, it was going to take an awful lot of campaigning to educate people on how taxes are reduced and what would happen if they didn’t vote yes,” Rhodes stated.
Upset that they were given no voice in this new $300 million tourist tax, local residents put a petition up online in protest. Here are just a few comments we read from that petition:
The tourism lobby had big wins this week with a $300 million tourist tax extension. Mayor Rhodes promised the tourism lobby he would not put the matter before Myrtle Beach voters. However, an industry facing minimum wage jobs, poor beach water quality, a looming recession, and high downtown crime rates waits nervously to see if this new tax frightens away even more tourists.
As to Myrtle Beach’s ongoing poor water quality issues, elevated bacteria levels this first week of June caused Myrtle Beach No Swim Advisories to be posted by DHEC. These beach bacteria warnings were reported by: The Myrtle Beach Sun News, WMBFnews Myrtle Beach, Wilmington NC’s Star News Online, The Charleston Post and Courier, and MyrtleBeachSC.com.