Gov. Haley approves A-Tax funding for more law enforcement in May 2015

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A portion of local accommodations tax has been approved to cover costs for more law enforcement during the month of May in 2015. Gov. Nikki Haley approved the proviso in the state budget Thursday.

The State and House approved the condition on Tuesday.

Following the governor's announcement, Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement:

"We applaud Gov. Haley's and the General Assembly's willingness to allow us to redirect a portion of promotional funds into public safety for events held in May. Our top priority remains the promotion of our No. 1 industry, tourism, and, in light of recent events, we feel investing in additional law enforcement for the month of May is the best investment we can make for our residents, our business community and our visitors. We stand firmly behind Gov. Haley and applaud her efforts to find solutions to protect our entire community."

Mayor John Rhodes is pleased with the Governors decision and appreciates the Chamber's involvement.

Rhodes explains Bike Fest Violence has affected many groups, the Chamber included.

"They're willing to give up part of the money we're giving them to take care of this problem because its a problem for the chamber too."

Many businesses up and down the Grand Strand thrive off tourism. Dean explains it's not they they don't need the dollars but given what happened it is something they need to help address. He feels the crime stigma prevents the Chamber from promoting the area and the Mayor agrees.

"Well this is not the tourism we want. It's very simple. We want to get it back to the way it was. The way it was when families were coming to Myrtle Beach and enjoying Memorial Day and celebrating Memorial day for what it is and that is to honor our veterans that have served our country so well and gave us the opportunity to have this freedom to have festivals and events."

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