We mentioned here yesterday that the Myrtle Beach Mayor and City Council stood up to public and editorial criticism this week by extending a penny sales tax without hiding behind a Referendum. The Mayor and Council did what they were elected to do...govern in the best interests of the citizenry. And, for those too unsophisticated (or agenda-laden) to understand why this was such a powerfully positive move by elected officials, let me fill in the gaps.
A decade ago, as the economy was heading over the cliff, the City of Myrtle Beach enacted a penny sales tax that invested 80% of the revenue into increased destination marketing while giving residents an 82% rebate on their property taxes. The increase in destination marketing resources resulted in Myrtle Beach scoring record levels of visitation (even during the Recession). The beauty of the property tax rebate is sorta self-explanatory.
Except when it isn't. Except when the media gives voice to those that try to position the rebate as unfairly benefiting the rich. In yesterday's story about the renewal of the penny tax, a reporter actually wrote these words:
"Because the rebate is based on a percentage of someone’s property taxes, the biggest benefits go to the wealthy. One person with a home worth nearly $9 million received a tax credit...worth $22,315.83 in 2017... According to the City, a person with a home valued at $199,000 would receive a tax credit of only $505.46."
Wait. Is the reporter attempting to infer that a person with a $199,000 house should get tens of thousands of dollars in tax credits because someone with a $9 million house does? Let's be clear, after their tax credit, the owner of the smaller house would owe something like a hundred bucks a year (thank you, Tourism). The owner of the bigger house would owe roughly $5,000. And, there's a problem here?
Only when the media wants to create one...