Letters to the Editor

Setting the record straight on Myrtle Beach taxes

Re: June 11 letter from Dan Griffin, “Tax increases might force me to leave”

Dan Griffin wrote recently that the City of Myrtle Beach “had raised my property taxes last year by almost 20 percent.” Actually, last year’s ad valorem tax increase was 11 percent — not 20. And there’s no tax increase in next year’s budget.

Among other things, Mr. Griffin’s extra taxes last year are paying for 10 new police officers, more staff for improved city services, body cameras for all police, 825 surveillance cameras on Ocean Boulevard and other public places, 9,600 traffic control devices for special events and many other public improvements.

It’s also worth noting that the Myrtle Beach City Council has raised property taxes in only two of the last 14 years. The previous time was in 2009 (three mills), and Council returned half of that the following year.

In the new budget, the city’s total property tax rate is 74.5 mills, but owner-occupied homes will pay an effective rate of just 13.1 mills, thanks to the Tourism Development Fee credit. That’s a tax reduction for homeowners of 61.4 mills, or 82.4 percent, so the value of the annual credit far exceeds last year’s increase.

The writer is public information officer for the City of Myrtle Beach.