Myrtle Beach to vote on tax hike for new Performing Arts Center

Published: Oct. 29, 2013 at 2:31 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:31 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - On November 5, Myrtle Beach voters will decide whether the city can issue up to $10 million in bonds for the construction of a new Performing Arts Center.

If passed, the center will be built adjacent to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

A vote is required because in South Carolina, cities are authorized to issue general obligation bonds totaling eight percent of their assessed property value. General obligation bonds that exceed the eight percent level must be approved by the voters. This bond issue would exceed the eight percent level, so it must go before the public as a referendum question (source:

"It will have a tremendous amount of uses," Performing Arts Center Committee Board Member Rita Levine said.

Levine said having a new Performing Arts Center and Auditorium will boost the Myrtle Beach economy. "They'll go out to dinner, they'll spend the night in the hotel," Levine said.

Other local venues such as the Carolina Opry and the Palace Theater seat more than 2,000 people, but Levine said this venue will be different because it will seat between 500-600 people. Levine said the new center will offer things the other venues don't- like an art gallery and a black box.

If the referendum passes next Tuesday, the money will go towards paying for construction, furniture/fixtures/equipment and fees/expenses.

The tax millage increase would be roughly 2.5 mills- which equals out to about $20 extra each year for a property assessed at $200,000.

Myrtle Beach City Spokesman Mark Kruea said as far as maintaining the building once it's built will be up to the city.

"The city will need to take the maintenance into account as its budgeting moving forward," Kruea said. "As this center is there, the convention center will operate it on a day to day basis but that operation will have to be budgeted for as part of the city's operational expenses."

If the referendum passes, it will then be up to council to decide on the financing options. The 2.5 tax mill increase would be in effect for 25 years.

For a complete look at the referendum, click here.

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