How property taxes could increase in North Myrtle Beach

Property taxes in North Myrtle Beach could increase if city council votes to work on capital improvement projects and give raises to police and fire officials.

During a budget retreat Monday morning, officials considered raising property taxes by two mills, which evens out to $28 on a $350,000 home.

"Basically, that one mill will go for capital improvements, it will go into a capital improvement fund," said North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley. "Another mill will be used for the policing and fire department."

Specifically, the capital improvement fund will go toward public parking, storm water drainage, ocean outfall projects, paving roads and building new sidewalks.

For police and fire officials, money from the tax would go toward retirement funds, increases in health insurance and pay raises.

However, officials are not considering any funding that may come from the possible tourism development fee, a 1-percent sales tax that mainly goes toward out-of-state marketing for the area.

The implementation of the TDF will be decided by residents on March 6. Remaining money from the TDF would go toward property tax rebates as well as improving infrastructure, including new parking.

While the possible tax increase will raise the overall millage rate to 43.3 mills in North Myrtle Beach, spokesman Pat Dowling said, the city will remain the lowest taxed area in Horry County.

"Additionally, 6.2 mills of the city's current 41.3 mills property tax rate goes to pay down the land purchase/construction bond on the 162-acre North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex," Dowling said in an email. "The bond debt will be retired in calendar year 2019 and the city’s property tax rate will then be reduced 6.2 mills FY 2020."