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Downtown Myrtle Beach businesses voice support for new improvement tax

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 8:31 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A new tax could be on the way for downtown businesses in Myrtle Beach, but it could pay off for those businesses in the long run.

The Myrtle Beach City Council took the first step toward approving a Municipal Improvement District during a meeting on Tuesday.

The Municipal Improvement District sounds complicated, but essentially it’s just a small tax that would pay for downtown redevelopment that Myrtle Beach leaders have been seeking for a long time.

”Community change takes time,” HTC Aspire Hub entrepreneur in residence, Ray Antonino, told the city council. “You’ve demonstrated your commitment.”

Antonino spends his days working with new entrepreneurs at the HTC Aspire Hub.

In order to attract more businesses to the hub to launch in Myrtle Beach, he has a vested interest in the area being clean and safe. That’s why he’s already putting his money where his mouth is.

“I brought a check for the $600,” said Antonino. “This will be donated today to initiate that first investment.”

The Aspire Hub falls right in the middle of the proposed Municipal Improvement District, which will run from 12th Avenue South to 21st Avenue North.

Every business in the district would pay $60 for every $100,000 in property value.

Take the Aspire Hub for example. Antonino said it’s assessed at $1 million, so it would pay $600 per year to the improvement district.

The Downtown Alliance would manage that money, investing in ways to make downtown safer and cleaner, coordinating events to draw people to the downtown area and attracting more downtown housing.

“I am excited about what’s going on with the development of the downtown area,” said Diva’s Hair Salon owner Lisa Coombs. “It’s going to allow even more foot traffic and a lot more activities in the area.”

The MID is proposed for the next ten years to see what the downtown alliance can do to bring some new life to this area.

This would impact about 3,600 commercial properties, so a little bit of money from a lot of businesses.

More of those businesses will have the opportunity to say what they’d like to see happen when this goes up for a final vote in two weeks.

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