At first reading City holds tax rate

North Myrtle Beach, SC - By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach Online.Com

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC — On Monday, North Myrtle Beach City Council members passed, on first reading, an ordinance holding the property tax rate at 32.2 mils on each $100 of assessed value. One more public hearing is required to pass this ordinance into law.

This property tax rate has been set at 32.2 for two budget years. In 2008, city council passed a 5.7% tax increase, the first in seventeen years, which was not necessary to "keep the city solvent."

During the 2008 hearing on the tax increase, Councilwoman Williams asked that question and added, "Can next year's budget be met without this increase?"

At that time, Finance Director, Randy Wright said that the city could meet service levels without the increase. Wright justification for the increase was the SC Budget and Control Board's cap on property tax increases. Wright expressed the concern that if the city did not pass the increase "it would be lost forever."

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