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RIDE III May Be Better Than RIDE IV



An unknown group called Citizens For Better Roads has spent over $500,000 promoting the RIDE III Horry County tax to  local residents.   Local TV, Radio, personalized direct mail,  internet sites, and billboards at every congested area in town are informing residents that Horry County needs new roads.   The messages all say little or no money will be coming from the state.

Ride 3 has been advocated by Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean, Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus, Matthew Brittain family member Steve Chapman, Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes,  City Councilman Wayne Gray, City Councilwoman Mary Jeffcoat,  City Manager John Pedersen, Senator Luke Rankin, S.C. State Assemblyman Alan Clemmons, Senator Greg Hembree, Senator Stephen Goldfinch, U.S. Congressman Tom Rice and a bevvy of other Myrtle Beach insiders.

The issue will be on the ballot this Tuesday, November 8th.   Every local “Republican”  incumbent agrees that this vote of $600 million in new taxes is essential for the infrastructure growth of Myrtle Beach.  Just over $270 million is expected to be paid by tourists.  Over $330 million will be paid for by local residents.

Several Myrtle Beach business leaders we spoke with informed MyrtleBeachSC.com that Ride 3 amounted to double taxation.    Horry County is among one of four of the largest counties in S.C.  Why can’t Senator Luke Rankin, State Assemblyman Alan Clemmons, Senator Greg Hembree, and Senator Stephen Goldfinch demand that the state send its fair share of road monies to Horry County?   Because Brad Dean needs the votes of the likes of Hugh Leatherman,  a powerful Florence Senator and a Myrtle Beach area chamber insider.

AND BECA– — — USE,  Hugh Leatherman (R?)  needs the state-wide taxed road funds to pave  four lane highways in front of his constituents’ homes in Florence, S.C.   This way,  next election,  Hugh can tell the Florence locals how he brought home the bacon.   When Brad needs a favor,  say a 10 year extension on the tourist tax,  he can count on old Hugh to bring home the bacon for him and his allies as well.


This formula works for everyone and only costs Horry County residents a penny on each purchase extra.  The tax costs us just a mere $600 million over the life of this version.

Two local politicians that lost primary races in June told us that RIDE III was more about money, control and local power,  and much less about the roads.   One of those told us to expect RIDE IV to be a much better package in 8 years when RIDE III expires.  He also said RIDE V should be even better.    In short,  the taxes never end.

The Ride III Horry County tax group’s (Citizens for Better Roads) official address is the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce address at 1201 North Oak Street in Myrtle Beach.

Here is what RIDE III will pay for:

RIDE 3 Project List

Estimated Costs


1) $50,000,000 – U.S. Hwy. 501 Corridor improvements – SC Hwy. 31 to SC 544

2) $15,000,000 – Pave 25 miles County dirt roads*
3) $54,700,000 – Carolina Forest Boulevard Widening
4) $7,500,000 – Palmetto Pointe Blvd. Ext. to SC Hwy. 544
5) $21,700,000 – SC Hwy. 9 East Widening (Loris)
6) $5,000,000 – Resurface 33.13 miles of City roads
7) $65,100,000 – US Hwy. 701 N Widening (North Conway)
8) $19,300,000 – Fred Nash Blvd. connection to Harrelson Blvd. – Myrtle Beach
9) $19,800,000 – US Hwy. 17 Business Intersection Improvements – Garden City
10) $89,100,000 – Forestbrook Road Widening
11) $15,000,000 – Pave 25 miles County dirt roads*
12) $5,000,000 – Resurface 33.87 miles County roads
13) $13,900,000 – US Hwy. 501 Realignment from Broadway Street to 7th Avenue North
14) $ 7,500,000 – US Hwy. 701 Widening – North to Loris
15) $18,400,000 – Conway Perimeter Road Phase II
16) $15,000,000 – Pave 25 miles County dirt roads*
17) $ 5,000,000 – Resurface 33.87 miles County roads
18) $25,000,000 – Southern Evacuation Lifeline (SELL) – Environmental Studies and Right-of-Way
19) $125,000,000 – SC Hwy. 31 (Carolina Bays Parkway) Extension To SC/NC State line
20) $15,000,000 – 
Pave 25 miles County dirt roads*
MyrtleBeachSC.com reached out to every vested person with reasons for wanting this passed.  None returned our calls.




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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