Myrtle Beach considers taxing downtown property owners to pay for improvements

Myrtle Beach DRC hears recommendations to revitalize downtown section (Image 1)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW)-     The Downtown Redevelopment Corporation met with property owners today to discuss a possible tax increase.

The DRC covers the area east of Kings Highway from 6th Avenue South to 16th Avenue North and the Super Block.

“Businesses really don’t have enough business to stay in business,” stated property owner Mike Hobeika

Since the Pavilion closed 10 years ago, Hobeika says the Super Block never fully recovered. Not only does the area lack foot traffic but he says there’s also not enough parking.

During Wednesday’s DRC meeting, City Manager John Pedersen discussed the city’s efforts to improve downtown.

“We’re talking about decades of time that had passed for that area to get the condition is today,” said Pedersen.

He said it’s going to take time to fix downtown, which is why they’re asking property owners to chip in.

“Government hardly ever fixes a problem what we can do is we can assist property owners,” he explained.

Pedersen introduced the idea of a special tax district, where property owners can pay for additional services, above what the city provides. He used landscaping and special events as examples.

“The property owners help us to define exactly what they want,” he said.

The special tax district is the tool to pay for it.

“The city and property owners have to come together with a clear vision,” stated Hobeika.

Pedersen says an advisory board will recommend an exact tax amount.  The proposal will need to go through city council before it is approved.

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