NORTH MYRTLE BEACH,SC (WMBF) - North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley says the public's concern over a potential 1 percent tourism tax is unwarranted at this time.
"We haven't considered the 1 percent sales tax or raising taxes at the present time," said Hatley.
Hatley says the idea of the tax was considered after a resident asked the town's finance manager to consider what it would mean to the town if it was implemented to fund special projects.
"Our budget might be flat, but we balanced our budget and we cut back around $4 to $5 million out of the budget," Hatley explained. "So we balanced the budget with a surplus."
"I think it's bad when people are having it so hard a time and are barely making ends meet and our council wants to put a 1-cent sales tax and tell people it's for the tourists.=," said NMB resident Gene Shepphard. "You shouldn't punish a tourist. It should be a tax for everybody or no tax. And then they're trying to raise the budget $2.5 million in a time like this, it's sad that we even have a council that would even bring it up."
When asked if council had considered taking the idea further, Hatley says council has not discussed it.
"But to say 'Never' - I couldn't possibly sit here and say 'Never,'" Hatley said.