Myrtle Beach city leaders approve first reading of 2019 budget

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The city passed the first reading of its $198 million budget on Tuesday. With the new budget comes a property tax increase and public safety updates.

The money from that property tax increase is going directly towards public safety. That includes retention and recruitment of new officers and the police pay increase that went into effect in January. City leaders say these changes already helped. The department doesn't have an vacancies. For the first time in 20 years, it is fully staffed.

Now if this budget passes the property tax increase will go into effect in July. City spokesman Mark Kruea explains property taxes will go up about 3 mills.

"For an owner occupied house 3 mills on a $200,000 home is an extra $24, although the tourism development fee credit will take care of most of that. For a commercial property, second home, or rental home its about $36 if the property is valued at $200,000," he said.

The city plans to hold a final vote on the budget in June.

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