Misleading signs in favor of tourism development fee pop up in NMB


Voters in North Myrtle Beach will decide Tuesday if they want a tourism development fee (TDF), which would mean a one percent sales tax. Most of that money would go towards marketing North Myrtle Beach to tourists.

Over the weekend, signs supporting the TDF popped up all over the North Myrtle Beach area linking the fee to public safety.

"I just don't want to see this money just going to waste. It goes to the chamber and Myrtle Beach, they've had all these millions of dollars and we don't know where the money's going," said North Myrtle Beach resident, Terry Fletcher.

$8 million is what is projected in the first year, if residents of North Myrtle Beach decide to vote yes on the fee.

While some are still undecided on their vote, someone in the North Myrtle Beach area has been pulling out all the stops to persuade residents to vote in favor of the fee.

"It does not pay public safety salaries. It does not have anything to do with public safety, capital improvement, it has nothing to do with that at all," said North Myrtle Beach Spokesman, Pat Dowling.

So if the city didn't post the signs, who did?

"The message on the sign which associates the tourism development fee with public safety is very misleading. You could make some sort of connection if you had a rubber band that stretched far enough, but I don't think they make them," said Dowling.

Many believe the Chamber of Commerce is to blame for the signs, assuming they would be the only ones to benefit from the fee and would rather the money be used for things like infrastructure and road repairs.

"The city is already giving the Chamber of Commerce $1.7 million every year, and that's because of some other legislative rule on this accommodation tax," said Fletcher.

Speculation continued to loom Monday evening and Dowling said, because the signs don't violate any of the city's sign ordinances, the city won't take them down.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off