Voters in North Myrtle Beach shoot down fee for out-of-state marketing

Voters in North Myrtle Beach on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 (WPDE)

Voters in North Myrtle Beach voted no Tuesday, March 6, on the tourism development fee. They headed to the polls to decide if they wanted a TDF, which would mean a new one percent sales tax.

Out of 3,238 total votes, the unofficial results show 3,050 voted no and 188 voted yes.

Most of that money would have gone toward marketing North Myrtle Beach to tourists, specifically non-South Carolina residents.

The City of Myrtle Beach currently has a similar fee for its out-of-state marketing.

If passed by North Myrtle Beach voters, the fee was expected to generate about $8 million in the first year.

The city said its portion of the money would be used on things like parking, public safety and property tax relief. In the third year, residents would see a property tax break.

Over the weekend, signs supporting the TDF popped up all over the North Myrtle Beach area linking the fee to public safety, but North Myrtle Beach Spokesman, Pat Dowling, said those signs were misleading.

"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," he said.

Polling places were open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voters used the same polling places for the referendum that they used for municipal elections.

The polling places were as follows:

  • Windy Hill 1 Precinct- Windy Hill Fire Station # 3 (33rd Avenue South)
  • Windy Hill 2 Precinct –Fire Station # 5 (Barefoot Resort - 4740 Barefoot Resort Bridge Road)
  • Crescent Beach Precinct- J. Bryan Floyd Community Center (1030 Possum Trot Road)
  • Ocean Drive 1 Precinct- Fire Station #1 (2nd Avenue South)
  • Ocean Drive 2 Precinct - St. Stephens Episcopal Church- (11th Avenue North)
  • Cherry Grove 1 Precinct- Chapel By The Sea Church (Sea Mountain Highway)
  • Cherry Grove 2 Precinct - Fire Station # 4 (Little River Neck Road)

The March 8 vote certification meeting is open to the public.

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