With focus on downtown, Myrtle Beach schedules $300+ million 2023 Budget Retreat

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David Huckshttps://myrtlebeachsc.com
David Hucks 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

As Mayor Brenda Bethune pledges to make 2023 about Myrtle Beach downtown redevelopment, the city has scheduled its 2023 budget retreat.

The City Council annual budget retreat is Wednesday evening through Friday morning, March 15-17 at Santee Cooper’s Wampee Conference Center in Pinopolis, S.C.

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The city’s financial report for 2022/2023 was $292.2 million. The city’s budget begins in July and ends in June the following year.

The final budget report from the last year’s retreat reported: The Myrtle Beach City Council approved a $292.2 million budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23.  It included a 10 mill property tax increase.  

The 2022-23 budget froze the tourism development fee (TDF) credit for residential properties. The TDF is a 1% tax charged to both tourists and locals and (after providing $24 million in tourism advertising to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce) then is re-allocated to discounting home owner taxes.  

Owner-occupied homes still receive a 67.45 percent credit on their city property taxes, thanks to tourists who visit the city and pay the TDF.  The 10 mill ad valorem increase means an owner-occupied home valued at $250,000 will pay an extra $100 per year in city property taxes.  A commercial property valued at $1,000,000 now pays an extra $600 per year with the 10 mill increase.  

Downtown Redevelopment in last year’s budget

The 2022-23 budget also authorized $62.5 million in new capital improvement projects during the year.  Capital projects include continued work in the Arts & Innovation District, maintenance at recreation centers and fire stations, more road resurfacing and new sidewalks, and the new performing arts center on Main Street.

CITY PURCHASES IN 2022

In 2022, the city purchased $30 million in properties located in the downtown. The city bought the Fountain Bluea Inn, The Oasis Motel, The Midtown Motel, the former Nance Home, The Sea Nymph Motel, and a title loan property. All of these motels, except the Midtown, have since been bulldozed.

Each of these are located in the 7th Avenue North and 8th Avenue North block of Myrtle Beach.

Click image to see city proposed Master Plan

The city intends to purchase the entire block of 7th and 8th from Ocean Boulevard to business Highway 17.

Another rendering of the master plan was rolled out as below in November 2022.

HOW MUCH WILL THE CITY SPEND IN NEW LAND BUYS AND REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT?

It is unclear how much the city is willing to borrow and how much will be needed for a downtown overhaul. The exact amount depends on the city finding a private business partner willing to invest in that area.

It is also unclear what demands that private investor will make as to how much in tax incentives and city up front development costs that private investor will negotiate.

The March budget retreat will be one of the most important in the city’s history.

Pinopolis, S.C. is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Berkeley County, South Carolina. It is a two hour, six minute drive south from the City of Myrtle Beach. The closest nearby town in Moncks Corner.

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