MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Myrtle Beach City Council finalized the budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year on Tuesday, and decided not to raise property taxes.
City leaders have been talking about raising taxes to pay for additional public safety resources, but now say they’ve found a way to increase public safety, without increasing taxes. The city will spend almost $1.6 million on 14 new positions including five new police officers, two new real time crime analysts to monitor all of the city’s surveillance cameras, and two code enforcement officers. The budget also allots for support from outside law enforcement agencies, and more public safety resources on the beach.
To offset the tax increase, the city has decided not to purchase two new police cars. Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock also estimates she can save funds by “restructuring the department”. Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes says public safety was the number one priority of this year’s budget. “It is the most important of all the criteria. That and being able to keep our budget without having a tax increase. Anytime we’re able to balance the budget without an increase in taxes, that’s a plus for our residents,” said Rhodes.
The city will also be increasing the water and sewer fee by about $1.20 each month, as well as the solid waste fee by $1.15 each month. This is in response to Horry County Solid Waste Authority and Grand Strand Water and Sewer increasing their fees.