Horry County tax revenues up after multi-year slump

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF)- The numbers from the 2011 fiscal year are out, WMBF news got these revenue reports from Horry County. Some of the numbers from the reports show the amount of dollars coming in to our area are up for the first time since 2008.

There was a big economic slow down in 2008, but now things are starting to speed up. We're talking about almost 40 million dollars in revenue coming from taxes-- like the one and one-and-a-half percent hospitality tax, and the state and local accommodations taxes.

So where does the money go? Most of it goes to paying off debts to the state for roads. The bills the county is working to pay off by the year 2022. If tax revenue money for the county keeps rushing in at this rate, the length of time you have to pay these extra taxes out of your pocket will shorten.

Plus -- once revenue numbers start looking up, so should other parts of business in the county. "The business base becomes stronger," said Barry Spivey, the Horry County Director of Finance. "So we can hire more people and produce more jobs. So there's an effect to all of our residents in some way. So that's positive."

The start of the 2012 fiscal year began this past July, and it's looking good as well. The report shows July grossed 5.7 million dollars alone. But there is a city in Horry County that's catching more cash than the entire county- Myrtle Beach. The money is starting to flow, as Myrtle Beach has seen an almost 11 percent tax revenue increase in the span of a year.

Around 11 million dollars in taxes was brought in during 2011 fiscal year, a new record on the city's books. This is good news as the city is working to climb out of a multi-year slump. Revenue numbers were down in the fiscal years 2009 and in 2010. But now overall numbers from taxes show things could be looking up. As The money coming in from tourism taxes reflects how businesses overall are doing in the area.

"You can barely touch a business in town that isn't in some way tourism related," said Mark Kruea with the City of Myrtle Beach. "So I think it's a good sign that if the numbers are up on our tax collections, that means the business activity is up as well."

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