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S.C. Chief Supreme Justice
While the S.C. Supreme Court heard the case last October, no ruling as of February

MBACC TAX COULD BE RENEWED BEFORE SC SUPREME COURT FOIA DECISION

S.C. Supreme Court Hearing On FOIA For All S.C. Chambers Heard Last October

Who benefits the most from another ten years and hundreds of millions of dollars?  Certainly MBACC benefits,  but do the residents, the tourists, or the city of Myrtle Beach?

Last October the S.C. Supreme Court heard both the lawyers for the Chambers Of Commerce as well as the lawyers for Domains News Media.  The case centers around the issue of all S.C. Chambers of Commerce refusing to provide FOIA to media or any others who request such.  The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber has received $200 million in TDF (tourist taxes) since 2009.

Current S.C. law is clear,  organizations who accept tax monies are subject to FOIA. The S.C. Chambers of Commerce are arguing a special exception to current S.C. law.

Myrtle Beach residents and tourists are still waiting on the S.C. Supreme Court to rule.

Meanwhile,  Myrtle Beach City Council Moves Forward To Extend The Tax

In May 2016, S.C. lawmakers (which included Alan Clemmons and Senator Luke Rankin), over-rode Governor Nikki Haley’s veto so as to extend the TDF (tourist tax) into the year 2029 by either a Myrtle Beach voter referendum or by a five out of seven Myrtle Beach City Council vote.

The City Council of North Myrtle Beach is putting the measure before its voters on a voter referendum this March 6th.

The city of Myrtle Beach has not yet decided whether to vote the measure forward by voter referendum or by Myrtle Beach city council vote.

TRUSTING RESIDENTS
 
It is clear that the city of North Myrtle Beach trusts its residents.  It is unclear if Myrtle Beach City Council does or does not as they have been quiet and vague as to how they plan to proceed.  At a retreat last week,  they did ask the measure be put on a soon coming Myrtle Beach city council agenda.
MBACC RE-SELLS TAX EXPENITURES TO PRIVATE HOTELS
Brad Dean I 73
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber C.E.O. Brad Dean
 
No one can argue that MBACC doesn’t get tens of millions in tax dollars annually.  Tax subsidies are the major source of the chamber’s funding.   No one can argue that MBACC is not re-selling those tax dollar expenditures to local hotel establishments in both Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach and then converting those tax dollars into private funding for the MBACC.   While the funding model has been modified this year,  here is exactly how MBACC converted $150 plus million into private MBACC general fund revenues over the past 8 years.
The following is also true:
 
TRUE COST OF THE TOURIST TAX – ROI and NPV
 
Responsible businesses usually look at the above two measurements when evaluating an investment.
ROI is return on investment.   Myrtle Beach has invested now almost $200 million in TDF to MBACC alone.   Last year,  downtown Myrtle Beach merchants reported business down as much as 30%, despite arguments to the contrary by MBACC.
NPV – Net Present Value is a model where a business ( or government ) discounts its future cash flows by its current cost of capital.   TO EXPLAIN:   If I make a purchase today,  what will my brand be worth in 5 or 10 years because I made that investment.
This model is ideal, because it looks at the OPPORTUNITY COST of what the business could have done with those same dollars.

Question:  Would The City of Myrtle Beach have a stronger brand, had it?

  • Invested $200 million in Ocean Outfalls eliminating beach bacteria pollution
  • Invested $200 million in crime prevention
  • Invested $200 million in Infrastructure
Or is our brand stronger because we invested those tax dollars into MBACC every year since 2009?
Who benefits the most from another ten years and hundreds of millions of dollars?  Certainly MBACC benefits,  but do the residents, the tourists, or the city of Myrtle Beach?

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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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