Proposed tax could help fund Coast RTA

By Chandi Lowry - bio | email

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The future of one Grand Strand transportation agency could soon be in the hands of Horry County residents.

Horry County Council said a six-tenth of a mill tax will go on the November ballot to help get more money for the Coast Regional Transportation Authority.  If the proposed tax is passed it will raise property taxes and will be dedicated to the transit starting next year.

The referendum is non-binding, which means even if it passes, it can be rejected.

George Osborne is a planner specialist for Coast RTA and says he has been working on a five year study to improve Coast RTA.

Osborne says they need to have a relocated hub that's east of the waterway and have a solid financial source.  The study also looked at the Savannah area and how it has benefited from passing a referendum and using tax money to help with their transit service.

Some changes in the budget and routes were discussed in the Coast RTA meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The route that was expected to start traveling to North Myrtle Beach in January will not operate.  Coast RTA will also suspend their route to The Market Common starting in August.

The transit service will eliminate raises for employees and there will not be an end of the year banquet this year.  Federal and local grants have also been slashed.

The referendum still has to go to the Department of Justice before it heads to the elections commission.

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