MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The proposed property tax increase on some downtown Myrtle Beach commercial properties has mixed reaction from property owners and business owners.
The city of Myrtle Beach is proposing a 1% assessment increase on commercial properties only in a zone that spans from 11th Avenue South to about 21st Avenue North within what would be the Municipal Improvement District (MID).
Buz Plyler owns 10 lots within the MID, including the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove on Ocean Boulevard. Plyler supports the MID and said the time for the MID is now.
“We’ve allowed the downtown to decline to the point that it is a real hazard, a real problem for this resort,” Plyler said.
Plyler said the MID might not be popular at first, and he added that other property owners on the fence will support the MID once they see diminishing property values because of inaction downtown.
“It’s going to be difficult, but we’ve got to do something,” Plyler said.
Plyler said the businesses stand to benefit from a tax increase where the revenues would only be spent on that area.
“They’re going to have less attraction to the beach if we don’t do something,” Plyler said.
Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said the MID goes beyond supporting local businesses.
“The end goal is to make our business community more successful, to revitalize downtown, not just for the downtown district but for the entire community,” Bethune said.
Bethune owns commercial properties within the boundaries of MID and supports the measure.
“I am gladly on board to participate with this because I see it as a small way that I can reinvest in my city,” Bethune said.
The public hearing for the MID proposal is at the May 10 Myrtle Beach City Council meeting. MID approval would come after two readings before council.
City staff wants to have approval for the MID by the summer so that it can take effect for the next fiscal year. The city estimates the assessment increase would generate $600,000 in revenue for downtown upgrades the first year it’s adopted.