Horry County voters approve Ride 3 referendum

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Tuesday night Horry County voters approved a referendum to add a 1 percent sales tax to improve local roads.

Results show that 69 percent of voters approved the referendum while 31 percent voted no.

The Ride 3 project consists of 15 road repair and construction projects throughout Horry County funded by placing a 1 percent tax on retail sales, prepared food and beverages, and accommodations for eight years. Groceries, fuel, and prescription medications are exempt from the tax.

The eight year projection revenues from the 1 percent  tax is $592 million. Sponsors of the project say that a large portion of the cost would be paid by tourists.

All Ride 3 funding must be spent on road repair and construction from the list of 15 approved projects put forth by the Ride 3 Commission and approved by Horry County Council. Additionally, the Ride 3 program will be sunsetted, and expires after 8 years.

“Horry County voters have spoken loud and clear, saying ‘we want more roads and better roads.’  The approval of RIDE 3 enables our community to continue investing in necessary infrastructure, which will create jobs, spur economic growth, reduce congestion and enhance safety,” Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce said.

Below is a list of projects from the Horry County website

1) $50,000,000U.S. Hwy. 501 Corridor improvements – SC Hwy. 31 to SC 544
2) $15,000,000Pave 25 miles County dirt roads*
3) $54,700,000Carolina Forest Boulevard Widening
4) $7,500,000Palmetto Pointe Blvd. Ext. to SC Hwy. 544
5) $21,700,000SC Hwy. 9 East Widening (Loris)
6) $5,000,000Resurface 33.13 miles of City roads
7) $65,100,000US Hwy. 701 N Widening (North Conway)
8) $19,300,000Fred Nash Blvd. connection to Harrelson Blvd. – Myrtle Beach
9) $19,800,000US Hwy. 17 Business Intersection Improvements – Garden City
10) $89,100,000Forestbrook Road Widening
11) $15,000,000Pave 25 miles County dirt roads*
12) $5,000,000Resurface 33.87 miles County roads
13) $13,900,000US Hwy. 501 Realignment from Broadway Street to 7th Avenue North
14) $ 7,500,000US Hwy. 701 Widening – North to Loris
15) $18,400,000Conway Perimeter Road Phase II
16) $15,000,000Pave 25 miles County dirt roads*
17) $ 5,000,000Resurface 33.87 miles County roads
18) $25,000,000Southern Evacuation Lifeline (SELL) – Environmental Studies and Right-of-Way
19) $125,000,000SC Hwy. 31 (Carolina Bays Parkway) Extension To SC/NC State line
20) $15,000,000Pave 25 miles County dirt roads*