Myrtle Beach, Horry County discuss changes, increases to upcoming budget

Horry County, Myrtle Beach leaders discuss spending

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - After a year of wondering how COVID-19 would impact the county’s finances, both the City of Myrtle Beach and Horry County Council discussed Thursday proposed budgets for the fiscal year 2022.

And depending on where you live, it could cost you more money.

Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught says they’re in good shape heading into the next fiscal year, with two proposed increases likely to pass.

The councilman says that will bring money to what he explained are much-needed county projects.

“There will be a $3 million property tax increase,” Vaught said.

However, it will be targeted.

Vaught said putting money aside to improve on and build new solid waste and recycling convivence centers is a priority, especially considering growth across the county.

“The need for more of them is great, the next 3-4 years with all this construction that’s taking place, we’re gonna have to increase the numbers of them that we have. Plus the ones that we have in place right now are being overloaded,” he said.

Another big change Vaught said was coming concerns flooding.

“The other increase that we will be doing will be a $45 a year stormwater increase,” he added.

The councilman explained the move is aimed at buying new equipment and addressing problem spots across Horry County.

It could also be used to help address issues with beavers building dams in areas where flooding is an issue.

In Myrtle Beach, city leaders are looking to reverse changes they made to save money last year.

City Manager Fox Simons recommended bringing back holiday bonuses for city employees, as well as scheduled pay increases.

Simons also proposed keeping property taxes and solid waste fees the same, along with keeping business licenses at the same rate.

Altogether, Myrtle Beach is looking at a budget increase of $14.8 million, which would bring the total to just above $230 million.

In Horry County, Vaught said their $553 million budget has nearly everything on the county’s checklist.

“It included a lot of things that we didn’t think we would be able to include,” he said. “When staff came forward with this budget it includes an increase of police, it includes an increase in fire, it includes a lot of infrastructure improvement.”

Both budgets underwent preliminary readings Thursday and will have to get looked at again prior to a vote.

Myrtle Beach leaders will meet again Friday to finish their budget discussions.

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