Horry County Council to discuss budget after losing millions

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – The 2020-2021 budget for Horry County isn’t expected to have any improvements due to recent challenges.

Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner says the budget, which funds county leaders and public safety officials, could be reduced by $21 million.

That would put a freeze on all raises, traveling expenses and most hires for the county.

Gardner says Horry County has already lost millions because of the City of Myrtle Beach lawsuit and now the coronavirus pandemic.

“Ideally you’d like to approve your budget every year,” Gardner explained. “You’d like to bring in more revenue, provide more services, make life easier to do the things we want to do for our citizens. We’re going to continue to do that…we’re basically going off of last year’s budget.”

Horry County is at risk of losing even more revenue, in spite of businesses reopening. Last year, the council voted to raise business license fees.

Council says the business license fees were notoriously low compared to other jurisdictions, primarily Myrtle Beach and other cities.

Due to the outbreak, business license fees have been postponed for this month and council will discuss whether to postpone it again next month.

By postponing fees, council anticipates to see a $2.3 million shortage. Gardner says that shortage will not stop the county from being “mission ready.”

Tonight’s meeting will be virtually open to the public at 6. Count on News13 for updates.

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