1. The tax is regressive.
The existing tax in Myrtle Beach has proven to decrease business growth inside the city of Myrtle Beach while driving traffic to the city of North Myrtle Beach, where tourists are not required to pay the tax.
2. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber does not want it to pass nor fail.
Rick Elliott, of North Myrtle Beach Travel– a leading NMB rental concern, said, “North Myrtle Beach hotels and property managers are currently paying millions in fees to the general fund of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.” If the TDF is passed in NMB, questions remain whether these resorts will continue to participate in the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber’s pay for play marketing concerns.
Should the referendum fail, however, MBACC is concerned Myrtle Beach City Council would then be required to follow suit, (for political protection), putting the extension of the current Myrtle Beach tourist tax on the referendum ballot as well, where it might also be rejected by the citizens.
3. NMB Residents Don’t Want It
MyrtleBeachSC.com polled key NMB residents before the initiative was brought forward yesterday. Residents of NMB are currently not in favor of the tax. Tens of thousands of advertising dollars will need to be spent to encourage the residents to support the tax, unless voter turnout on March 6th is extremely low. Low voter turnout could cause the measure to pass, however, as only those wanting the tax would show up to vote.
4. The Myrtle Beach Area Tax Continues To Cause FBI And State-Wide Criminal Investigations
Currently the FBI and SLED are investigating the MBACC concerning how it has spent TDF (Tourist Tax) monies. The political consultant of former Myrtle Beach Area Chamber Board President and now U.S. Congressman Tom Rice was paid almost $25,000 in tourist tax monies in 2011. By S.C. law, the funds are only supposed to be used to purchase “out of market” advertising. Payments like these and payments to indicted S.C. Representative Jim Merrill have kept the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce continually under investigation since the tourist tax was first implemented in Myrtle Beach in 2009.
Said Skip Hoagland, a S.C. businessman now suing S.C. Chambers Of Commerce for greater transparency, “The corruption, IRS Ubit Violations, unconstitutional misuse and abuse to ATAX public funds and fraud by Brad Dean and the private Myrtle Beach Chamber must end. I am asking for a forensic audit and FBI investigation, just like was done recently on the Berkeley County Chamber and school CFO which resulted in $386,000 of stolen funds.”
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