PINOPOLIS, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach city leaders got together Thursday in Berkeley County for Day 2 of the city’s annual budget retreat.
The retreat was an opportunity to hear about the specifics in the early drafts of next fiscal year’s budget, which came at $357 million. Discussions at the retreat in Pinoplis started just before 9 a.m. as the city manager’s office presented a rough draft of the new spending plan, which goes into effect July 1.
The city calls it a “conservative” budget, pointing to the cost of inflation and economic uncertainty. The proposed budget includes increases in water, sewer and stormwater fees but no new taxes.
The city said the bumps would cost the average Myrtle Beach household an extra $60 per year. However, the draft doesn’t include a property tax increase or a business license fee increase.
The budget does call for a 5% pay increase for all city employees effective July 1, which adds up to an additional $4.6 million each year.
The city’s pay study last year is already out of date because of wage inflation, which was the primary focus of Thursday’s discussions.
“We’re trying to be creative as well, but you have to be able to put a competitive salary out there for folks,” City Manager Fox Simons said.
The city is still offering new employees who move from outside Horry County a $4,000 relocation bonus. In 2022, 14% of new hires received the bonus for a total cost of about $136,000.
These are all still just proposals, though, as city council will ultimately have the final say after weeks of tweaks.
News13’s Manny Martinez will have more coverage on the budget retreat on Friday.