City of MB kicks off $136.8M budget year Thursday

Myrtle Beach, SC - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The City of Myrtle Beach is kicking off the 2010-2011 fiscal year free of tax increases, as its $136.8 million approved budget begins Thursday.

The Myrtle Beach City Council approved the multi-million dollar budget with a 4-3 vote in June. The budget, according to officials, includes a pocket of limited funding for local organizations, including Coast RTA, Grand Strand Humane Society and Myrtle Beach Housing Authority.

A bright spot in the budget comes in the form of a hefty tax break for homeowners, paid for through a 1 percent tourism development fee that went into effect in 2009.

"Under the current millage rate, the owner of a home with an assessed value of $200,000 will receive a credit of $456.80 and pay just $58.40 in city property taxes on that home," Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea said in a prepared statement.

The 88 percent tax break will reduce the millage rate for most City of Myrtle Beach homeowners from about 64.4 mils to 7.3 mils.

Kruea said the state legislation, which gave the go-ahead for the fee, has allowed the city to use up to 20 percent of the proceeds for tax credits and tourism-related capital improvement projects. The proceeds, however, are to be used during the fee's second through ninth years.

"The remaining 80 percent of the proceeds from the [fee] are used for out-of-marketing advertising to promote the Myrtle Beach area and Grand Strand," Kruea added.

Also beginning on Thursday, residential solid waste service will increase $1 per month to $20.50 per month for Myrtle Beach homeowners. Monthly storm water management fees will also increase 75 cents, to a total of $5 per equivalent residential unit.

Kruea said the budget does not include any water or sewer fee increases.

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