Myrtle Beach City Council passes budget, finalizes parking regul -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Myrtle Beach City Council passes budget, finalizes parking regulations

Myrtle Beach City Councilmember Mary Jeffcoat follows along with a presentation on the budget. (Source: Amy Lipman) Myrtle Beach City Councilmember Mary Jeffcoat follows along with a presentation on the budget. (Source: Amy Lipman)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach City Council passed the city’s budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, with Councilman Mike Lowder voting opposed.

The budget includes a three-mill tax increase, which mainly offsets rising costs for the city to provide services, as well as a pay raise for city employees.

The property tax increase does not affect people who live in their houses as primary residences because a credit from the Tourism Development Fee offsets it.

Three mills comes out to an extra $4.50 for a $25,000 car each year, or $45 for a second home or business worth $250,000.

Nobody gave public input specifically about the three-mill increase to council, but Lowder pointed out the effect the tax increase could have for renters or customers.

He said he has to speak for the people who expressed their concerns to him who couldn’t speak Tuesday.

“Folks like myself, who rent from a property owner that owns a commercial property, I’m going to feel that because my rent is going to go up,” Lowder said. “One way or another all of this has that trickle-down effect.”

All other council members who were present voted for the budget, saying they think the the city has limited tax increases over the past decade and this increase is really needed now to keep up with costs and compensate city employees for their hard work.

Months of planning went into the budget as well as new parking regulations for North Ocean Boulevard.

Even since the original parking plan was passed, the city has made some changes. 

Instead of the rate of $4 per hour or $20 per day for street-end lots along the Golden Mile, the lots will be the same as all of the other street-end lots along the beach in the city, which is $2 per hour and $10 per day.

City Manager John Pedersen said the decreased parking rate was the result of feedback from people who live outside of city limits as well as the desire to make parking rates in the city more uniform.

Also, Ocean Boulevard residents can now get guest placards in addition to the avenue residents.

Secondary homeowners within city limits can buy decals for golf cart parking.

Council members decided Tuesday to push back implementation of the changes from July 1 to July 5 due to the busy holiday weekend.

Pedersen said enforcement for the first two weeks will include warnings and informational letters. He said yellow lines will be enforced during that time period though.

Two people spoke to the council during Tuesday’s afternoon meeting about their concerns for the expense of parking by the beach due to being secondary homeowners or living right outside of the city limits.

Non-residents can buy a parking pass for $100 a year, but that pass is limited to commercial district parking.

Parking passes are always available for anyone for $30 a week as well.

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