DEMAND A REFERENDUM - Myrtle Beach to Deny Your Right to Vote!

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Myrtle Beach City Council says they don’t trust your opinion and plans to vote on the $Multi-Million Tourism Tax (also known as the TDF or Tourism Development Fee) without a referendum. Send Myrtle Beach a Message: Demand A Referendum!

  • Your County Council LET YOU DECIDE on a 1% road tax (RIDE II)
  • Your County Council LET YOU DECIDE on another 1% road tax (RIDE III)
  • Your School Board LET YOU DECIDE on a 1-cent tax to build new schools.
  • ·North Myrtle Beach LET YOU DECIDE on their 1% Tourism Tax in March (voters said NO by 3,050 to 188!)

Myrtle Beach says it WILL NOT LET YOU DECIDE on their 1% Tourism Tax!

City Council’s decision is UNFair and UNAmerican! Help send them a message: We DEMAND THE RIGHT TO VOTE!

Important Note! You are required to pay this tax whether you’re a tourist, a neighbor, or a registered voter within the City limits. By signing this Petition, you are not committing to vote for or against the tax; you are just demanding that City Council remember that this is America and permit voters to decide.


In 2009, Myrtle Beach City Council imposed an Extra 1% Sales Tax on most purchases. That Tax is called the Tourism Development Fee (TDF). When added to a meal, the TDF costs you and our visitors a whopping 11.5%… making it more expensive to dine out here than in New York City (8.875%). This extra TDF is added to thousands of other everyday purchases too.

The Myrtle Beach TDF is the ONLY local option sales tax imposed in South Carolina without a referendum! Now City Council plans to extend it 10 more years – without letting YOU vote on it! Another $200 Million vanishing out of the local economy without full accountability. The TDF is unfair to residents and tourists alike and a classic example of why the Founders created America: it is clearly taxation without representation!

So where does YOUR TDF money go? 80% of it pays for $Millions in advertising to support the local tourism industry and subsidizes the marketing of hoteliers and other private businesses thru the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Without independent forensic and marketing audits of the expenditures of your tax dollars, along with independent analytics of the Chamber’s website data, the public statements by the Chamber as to the effectiveness of use of hundreds of millions of your tax dollars is completely unsupported. Even more troubling, the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) claims less than half of the number of tourists visit Myrtle Beach as stated by the Chamber (8.2M vs 18.5M)!

The only known part of every $10 million collected is that $1.6 Million of YOUR taxes is used to pay the property taxes of just a few residential properties in the city. The bigger the house, the bigger the taxpayer subsidy! A few examples:

Home Value         City Tax        Taxpayer Subsidy Paid    Net Tax
$8,785,760.00     $27,235.83    $22,315.83                       $4,920.00
$1,000,000.00     $ 3,100.00     $2,540.00                          $560.00
$ 350,000.00       $1,085.00       $889.00                             $196.00
$ 200,000.00       $630.00          $508.00                             $112.00
$ 150,000.00       $465.00          $381.00                             $84.00
$ 65,000.00          $201.00         $165.00                              $36.00

After all taxpayer subsidies for the 4% primary homeowners, they pay only 12% of the full City tax that an investor homeowner pays! The non-subsidized city real estate tax in the above examples would be $40,853.73 for the top example and would be $302.25 for the bottom example! If this was fair, then all real estate properties deserve that same ratio of benefits. Why does a second home / investment residential property pay 8.3 times the amount of city real estate tax that a comparable primary home pays?

How is this helpful to a local economy of primarily low-paying tourism-related jobs employing struggling families that often struggle just to rent the home in which they reside? Is our unbalanced tax system creating such inequity that indirectly results in more homeless residents So, while the City leaders are baiting you with all these tax subsidies over the last 9 years, they actual have raised the Reals Estate tax millage rate by over 26%. In addition, the city has raised other taxes and fees an average of $79 per year since 2011 (cumulative increase total $555.89 and continue to increase each year*). Problem is those who are impacted the most from these increases are benefited the least! This means your total taxes and fees have gone up 91% and after the city shuffle with the rebate, it hides 52% of the increase! Where is the incentive to prioritize government expenditures if they can hide these increases without accountability? 

Everyone likes to keep their taxes low! What happens after another ten years of hidden tax and fee increases? The TDF revenues available for rebate do not increase at same rate of your property value! The TDF revenues available for rebate are limited while the number of qualifying primary residences are increasing annually to share the same pool of money! The TDF rebates will diminish over time! Are you going to wait another 10 years to peel back the onion to find out why? Let’s stop this smoke and mirrors game now or at least have the choice of the taxpayer deciding directly in a referendum.

*Source: City of Myrtle Beach publications based upon home value @ $132,667, 2 cars @$28,000, household water consumption of 7,500 gallons/month and
medium income of $37,064: If your demographic is higher, so is the cumulative raise in other taxes and fees.

 WE the People DEMAND a Referendum Vote!