Candidate for House District 104, William Bailey, spoke to the concerns and interests of the residents at Tidewater this week.
House District 104 is up for election on June 12th. The district includes the city of North Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas of Longs, Little River, and the northern sections of Highways 90 and 905.
Chief among the concerns of the residents was continued health care for an aging Horry County, increases in gas prices associated with the 6 cent increase in the S.C. gas tax, how the gas tax monies are distributed across the state, and crime in the greater area.
Bailey connected well with the group, showing he had a firm grasp on the issues. He also offered common sense solutions. His compassion for the residents of District 104 is clear.
Incumbent Greg Duckworth is Bailey’s opponent in the District 104 race. The local delegation, including Representative Duckworth, wrote legislation for a 6 cents per gallon increase in gas prices this year to fix our roads. Questions were asked as to why we needed the 6 cents per gallon increase, when local Horry County residents voted in a 1% tax on purchases just last year to improve the roads. The 1% tax approved by voter referendum is called RIDE III. The tax will raise $600 million for road improvements for Horry County roads alone according to current incumbents and Horry County council.
Many local Horry County residents see the $600 million we are paying locally, coupled with the 6 cents per gallon increase, as double taxation. Ride II was also voted in by voter referendum more than 8 years ago and has raised more than $425 million from its one-cent sales tax increase.
On April 18th of last year, WMBFnews reported that Horry County Council extended its 1.5 percent hospitality fee beyond its 2022 sunset and will be using a portion of those funds to pay for Interstate 73. Roughly 50 percent of that revenue comes from prepared food and drink, 40 percent comes from lodging and 10 percent is from admissions fees.
Many Horry County residents say they feel taxed to death with penny taxes and gas taxes, yet they still ride on crumbling, congested roads.
Bailey said he believes the six cent per gallon increase should have been put before the voters in a referendum as well. Horry County is the largest county in S.C. Congested and crumbling roads, have many residents questioning where the state monies we pay into the S.C. Highway infrastructure bank go. Bailey stated, if elected, he would ensure that those funds came back home.
North Myrtle Beach residents note on Social Media that Rep. Duckworth is a large recipient of Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce Campaign contributions. Concerns remain the Incumbent Duckworth puts the needs of the Myrtle Beach Chamber ahead of residents of North Myrtle Beach.