Letters to the Editor

Politicians and their inability to do math

Our Horry County officials are just like our national politicians. They love to create a problem just before the election cycle. So with a known problem they can prove their need or worth.

So let’s review this problem with the Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson rally and the Atlantic Beach Bikefest.

The county lost $183,000 from the spring bike rallies, from such things as overtime pay for officers, public works, parks and recreation and other miscellaneous costs.

That seems to be a hefty bill left on the local residents.

Now some of the facts:

Policing both events cost $257,450. Vendor fees generated $74,360. Which totals a loss of $182,640.

OK, now I understand. Hmmm, no, actually I’m curious about a few things left from this discussion.

Bikers totaled more than 300,000.

The unincorporated parts of the county generated hospitality tax revenues of $517,418 for the month. Now, the county does not break this down by weeks, events, etc., so let’s just divide by 4.3 weeks, and now we get a weekly total of $120,329.77. I believe the event paid more, but let’s be fair.

Local accommodations tax revenue was $73,916, so let’s just divide by 4.3 weeks, and now we get a weekly total of $17,189.77

So the hospitality tax and accommodations tax revenue totaled $137,519.54

If we take the $183,000 loss and subtract the known weekly average of tax revenue for the month of May, the actual loss would be $45,480.

If that were the only revenue, it would still be a burden on us taxpayers. But we can’t stop here.

I pose these questions:

How much sales tax did we collect? How much did the county receive in liquor tax? Rental car tax? Airline tax? Tickets for parking, speeding, etc.?

What about the money brought into the economy via food sales, accommodations, trinkets (shirts, beachwear stores), service industry sales (putt-putt, helicopter rides, banana boat rides), golf rounds?

Personally I’m growing tired of politicians only showing a portion of the problem. The devil happens to be in the details, and the facts speak for themselves.

If I were a betting man, I’d guess the same ones that speak in half truths about the cost also attempted to shut down the events a few years ago.

I would like to take this moment in time to point out that our area happens to be dependent on events such as the bike rallies. If you dislike them, take a vacation, learn to accept them, or get over it. Why would you discourage such a large boost to our economy?

The writer lives in North Myrtle Beach.

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